new spring classic

lately, i have found myself wanting to build up a recipe arsenal. i want to have a few signature dishes up my sleeve that are perfect for a certain time of year. this could take an entire lifetime, but it would be nice to start collecting classics now. and this is a bit of lofty statement, but i think i've found a great springtime dish that could last for years to come. it's adapted from a recipe i saw in delicious magazine recently - i found that some of the ingredients were unnecessary and others simply needed switching (i.e. lime instead of lemon). the result is a fantastic salad, served cold or at room temperature. it would be perfect for a sunny picnic, or as a side dish to a larger meal. either way, make sure you've got a ripe and juicy mango on hand as well as fresh herbs.

mango coconut rice salad

serves 4

the particulars:

  • 1 cup brown rice (i used brown basmati)
  • 1 bunch fresh basil leaves
  • grated zest and juice of 1 lime
  • olive oil
  • bunch of fresh mint leaves
  • bunch of fresh cilantro leaves
  • 3/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 6 spring onions, sliced on an angle
  • 1 red chili, finely chopped
  • 1 mango, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup natural roasted peanuts, chopped
  • 5 shallots, peeled and chopped
  1. place the rice in a saucepan with 2 basil sprigs and 1 tsp salt. cover with cold water, then cook according to your packet's instructions. drain with a colander or strainer, and rinse under cold water.
  2. meanwhile, whisk the lime juice with some olive oil and seasoning to create a dressing. put to one side.
  3. chop the mint, cilantro, and remaining basil leaves, reserving a few whole leaves for a garnish. stir the shredded coconut in a dry frying pan over a medium heat for 1-2 minutes until lightly toasted. place to one side.
  4. in the same frying pan, sizzle some oil, then add the shallots, spring onions, and red chili. cook for a few minutes.
  5. put the rice in a bowl with the chopped herbs, shallots mixture, coconut, mango, peanuts, and dressing. toss. leave to chill or place in fridge until ready to serve. serve with lime wedges and herb garnish.