We seldom eat out, but I can’t resist Gulfstream in Newport Beach, CA. You can always get a great piece of fish, a terrific Caesar salad and a nice glass of wine. Another thing about the food, they serve tasty side dishes. When a friend suggested we meet there for lunch, I was all in.
Grilled sea bass was served with a rice salad with corn and dried blueberries. It was rich tasting and textured against the simplicity and freshness of the fish. I took notes so I could recreate it at home.
The Rice for Rice Salad with Corn
I must have 10 kinds of rice in my pantry. Studying the plate at the restaurant I knew just the rice to use for my re-creation: a wild blend from Lundberg Farms. It combines brown rice, Wehani, Black Japonica and wild rice for a nice, nutty tasting, healthy blend, and is widely available. The corn added crunch and color, the dried blueberries sweetness, the nuts provided richness and healthy fat, and the herbs gave it a fresh appeal.
Rice in a Pressure Cooker
Many brown and wild rice blends can take 50-60 minutes to cook and steam finish. To save time, I cook mine in a pressure cooker. Instead of an hour, it takes just 20 minutes. With a pressure cooker you can get healthy whole grains on the dinner table in no time.
If you don’t have a pressure cooker, cook your chosen rice according to the package directions. A wild blend is my choice, but all wild rice (really an aquatic grass) or black rice would also work well. If you don’t have a pressure cooker, it’s a great addition to any kitchen as a time-saving tool.
Adding Aromatics: Leeks, Garlic, & Herbs
To the rice mix I added sautéed leek and garlic for my “aromatics” plus parsley and chives. For nuts, I chose pine nuts, although the restaurant used almonds. Both are good, depending on what you have in the pantry.
For corn, I used frozen organic, because the fresh corn was not organic (so most likely genetically modified or GM).
To finish for serving, taste for salt and pepper and drizzle on a little extra olive oil, toss, and you are good to go.
Serving Tips for Rice Salad with Corn
This salad or side dish can be served warm, room temperature or even chilled. Its the perfect addition for grilled or roast fish and chicken. For those following vegetarian or vegan lifestyles, add big grilled portabella mushrooms, sliced and served instead of an animal protein.
For more information on Lundberg Farms rice products, here is a link to their site.
A good cookbook with pressure cooker recipes and notes for cooking rice is by Lorna Sass, called Pressure Perfect.
Pressure cookers are a great time-saving tool to add to your kitchen. I have three from Fagor – 4, 8 and 10- quart. For this rice, I use the small 4 quart model. If you are just starting out, a 6-8 quart is a good size, depending on how many people you generally cook for.