COCONUT BROWN RICE WITH PEAS, ARUGULA, MINT, BASIL + CASHEWS

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This is a dish that hugs you.  It’s just so comforting. The warm, slightly sweet rice with the crunch of cashews, the fresh sweet peas and spicy arugula, makes a lovely combination that’s both hearty but layered as well. This would make a fantastic side with some grilled shrimp or tofu, but honestly, I love eating it on it’s own.

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INGREDIENTS (COCONUT RICE)

For 3-4

1 1/2 cups brown jasmine or basmati rice

1 14-ounce can coconut milk

2 cups water

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons white sugar

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

DIRECTIONS

Rub the oil over the bottom of a regular-sized pot (you will also need a tight-fitting lid). Add the rest of the ingredients. Stir and set over high heat, bring it to a boil. Immediately reduce heat to low and cover with a lid. Simmer for 60 minutes, or until the liquid has been absorbed by the rice.

When all (or nearly all) of the coconut-water is gone, turn off the heat, but leave the pot on the burner (covered). Allow the rice to sit for another 5-10 minutes, or until you’re ready to eat. Your coconut rice will stay warm in this way for 1 hour or more (a great make-ahead tip if you’re expecting company!).

INGREDIENTS (FINISHED DISH)

1 recipe brown coconut rice

2/3 cup toasted cashews

1 cup peas (fresh or frozen)

2 tablespoons mint, finely chopped

2 tablespoons basil, finely chopped

1/4 cup coconut flakes, packed

1 handful arugula

salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

In a small pot of salted, boiling water, blanch the peas by cooking them for 2 minutes (until bright green) and then dunking in ice water.

Combine all of the ingredients together, and season to taste.