Recipe is from Salad Days, by Amy Pennington, reprinted with permission from publisher. Here, rice is first steamed and then baked in the oven giving it a kaleidoscope of texture in every bite -- chewy, crispy, soft -- that is undeniably entrancing. Then the rice is tossed with a bevy of herbs, lime zest, and sweet snap peas, adding lightness to every bite. It's a delicious meal to make ahead and have ready for pack-and-go lunches, as the rice maintains the texture over time.
cup basmati rice or other white rice
tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
cup currants (I used golden raisins, because that's what I had on hand)
To cook the rice, in a medium pot with a lid, put the rice and add enough water so the rice is covered by 1 inch of water, cover, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the water is absorbed, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat, uncover, and set aside for about 5 minutes.
While rice is cooling, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
On a baking sheet, put the cooked rice and drizzle evenly with 3 tablespoons of the oil. Do not stir it, as this will break the grain. Roast the rice for 5 minutes. Remove the pan and stir the rice, coating it more evenly with the oil, and return the pan to the oven. Roast for 10 minutes more and remove the pan, setting it aside to cool slightly, about 5 minutes. (Making this at high altitude required 5 additional minutes for each roasting, for a total of 10 additional minutes.)
In a large bowl, add the currants, mint, parsley, cilantro, dill, snap peas, green onion, lime zest and juice, honey, salt, and the remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Once the rice has cooled slightly, add it to the bowl and toss until well combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.