Tasty Rice Salad

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I'm so lucky to have some amazing foodie friends. Today I'm sharing a recipe from Romy Horn, founder of Dough Re Me Kids in DUMBO Brooklyn (read her profile here). Romy knows all about mixing kids and nutritious meals. She teaches afterschool classes--and she goes way beyond the standard guacamole or applesauce recipes you usually see associated with kid chefs. She's bringing us Wehani Rice Salad.


WEHANI RICE SALAD WITH CORN AND LEEKS

This healthy and nutritious salad has a fixed place on our dinner table starting in the Spring '?? remaining throughout the last days of corn season. I serve it as a side with family meals, for parties and even put it in my daughter'??s lunch box. It can be made ahead of time and everyone loves it, especially my students.

Wehani rice is a type of brown jasmine rice. If you can'??t find it, substitute long-grain brown rice, red or wild rice or even wheat berries. I prefer the Wehani rice for its nutty taste and chewy texture. To achieve the proper texture, cook the rice like you cook pasta. Ignore the recipes that advise you to cook this rice as you would a basic white rice '?? essentially using double the amount of water as rice and cooking until all of the water is absorbed. It results in the rice splitting open and getting mushy, whereas the pasta method of straining the rice from the water keeps the rice whole, allowing it to remain chewy and flavorful.

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Ingredients

2 cups Wehani rice
6 cups water

2 ears of corn - sliced off of the cob
1 medium leek - green part discarded, white part cut into ¼ inch slices
1 cup shelled edamame '?? frozen
¼ cup minced fresh herbs '?? cilantro, chives, parsley or any combination you have on hand
6 tbsp. olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Prepare

Bring the water to a boil in a large pot and add the rice. Once the water comes back to a boil, lower the heat to medium. After 10-15 minutes, begin tasting the rice to determine if it is done. It should be cooked through, yet remain whole and chewy. The rice kernels should not start splitting open. Once the rice is finished, strain and rinse it with cold water.

Put the rice in a bowl large enough to hold the corn as well.

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While the rice is cooking prepare the corn. Add 4 tablespoons of oil to a large skillet set to high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the leeks and stir well, cooking for about a minute until the leeks have wilted. Reduce the heat to medium and add the corn. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir together, distributing the corn/leek mixture over the entire bottom of the pan and cook undisturbed for about 5 minutes. This will allow the corn to release its natural sugar and develop some tasty brown spots. Once the corn is partially colored, stir and cook again undisturbed for another 5 minutes. Do not allow it to burn.

Once the corn is 3/4s browned, add the edamame and herbs. Stir and scrape up any browned bits that may have formed on the bottom of the pan. The frozen edamame will release some water, which will aid in scraping up these tasty bits. Taste for seasoning and remove from the heat after the edamame are just heated through.

Combine the corn mixture with the rice, stir well and allow it to cool.

Once the rice salad is cool, add the remaining two tablespoons of oil. Stir to combine and test again for seasoning.

Salad is best at room temperature and can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

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