Crispy Rice salads are perfect tossed with fresh herbs and raisins. This one uses parsley, cilantro, dill and mint, but feel free to use herbs you have on hand. Just make sure you use a lot of herbs - this rice salad is as much about the crispy rice as it is about the herbs.
One of my New Year's Intentions this year is to eat more salads. Specifically, I want to eat a salad a day.
However, by mid-January I reframed this Intention to 4 - 5 salads a week.
And then the Intention became Nice Idea That Might Not Happen, and I promptly forgot all about it.
What Are 5 Major Types of Salads?
This Crispy Rice dish might not look like a salad to you. But salads take a nearly infinite variety of forms. This makes is super-easy to add them to your menu all year round. For simplicity, let's divide them into 5 categories:
These are your tossed salads as well as composed salads, with greens as the main component. This includes butter lettuce, romaine, or kale. Caesar Salad is a great example of a tossed salad. So is this Crunchy Kale and Apple Salad with Thai Peanut Butter Dressing.
Vegetable salads are just what they sound like - mostly vegetables tossed in a dressing. Examples are this Greek Salad of cucumbers, tomatoes and red onions, Grilled Fattoush Salad - a Middle Eastern staple, a Three Bean Lemony Salad with Herbs or this Warm Mediterranean Cauliflower Salad with Miso Dressing. I eat these all year round.
Pasta, Legume or Rice Salads
Salads dominated by pasta, legumes or rice fall in this group. I adore chickpea salads such as this Chickpea Salad with Garlic and Olives, Pan-Roasted Chickpea Salad with Curried Yogurt, and Chickpea Spread on Avocado Toasts.
This Herby Peas and Green Crispy Rice Salad obviously fits into this group as a rice salad. The rice is baked to get it crispy, and it's tossed with herbs, sugar snap peas, golden raisins and a tart-sweet dressing.
Mixed Salads Incorporating Meat and Fish
These salads use meats or fish to bulk up a light salad, making it a meal for pescatarians and omnivores.
Fruit salads are most often served as a side dish, as in this Watermelon Salad tossed with herbs, feta and a vinaigrette, or as a dessert.
What is Crispy Rice?
Crispy rice starts with cooked rice, either cooked fresh or leftover rice that's a couple days old. The cooked rice is spread in a pan with some oil and cooked so that the rice on the bottom becomes a crust. This crust is then folded into the soft cooked rice for a mixture of textures.
Do this on the stove in a seasoned pan or in the oven. Both methods work well. The key is to not move the rice around, so that the rice crisps up.
Some recipes call for sprinkling oil over the rice, as in this recipe, and a favorite from my childhood adds Italian dressing. I often add olive oil and dried herbs to leftover rices as a quick way to perk it up.
Herby Peas and Crispy Green Rice
- 1 cup basmati rice or other white rice
- 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil divided
- ½ cup golden raisins
- ¼ cup finely chopped fresh mint leaves
- ¼ cup finely chopped fresh parsley
- ¼ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
- ¼ cup finely chopped fresh dill
- 3 ounces sugar snap peas about 20 pods, very thinly sliced
- 1 green onion very thinly sliced
- 1 lime zested
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 teaspoon honey
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt plus more for seasoning
- ground black pepper
Make Crispy Rice
- Preheat the oven to 350˚F.
- Cook the rice according to the package directions, and read this article on how to make perfect fluffy rice, with 6 tips that make a big difference.
- Spread the cooked rice on a baking sheet. Don't line it with parchment paper or foil. Drizzle the rice evenly with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil without stirring the rice. 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, or until crispy to the touch. Set it aside to cool slightly on the baking sheet, about 5 minutes. Pro-tip: Stirring the rice before being roasted can break the grain. Don't be tempted to stir it until it's roasted for 5 minutes.
Make the Salad
- In a large bowl, combine the raisins, mint, parsley, cilantro, dill, snap peas, and green onion. Whisk together the lime zest, lime juice, honey, salt, pepper and the remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Once the rice has cooled slightly, add it to the bowl of herbs along with the dressing, and toss until well combined.
- Serve at room temperature.
Disclosure: I received a free copy of this cookbook to review, but there was no obligation and no compensation. As always, all opinions are my own.
Leave a Reply