Moroccan rice salad


Moroccan Rice Salad

Serves 4-6

I fell in love with this recipe the minute I saw it on Gilt taste, wanted to try it ever since with of course few modifications of my own.    The original recipe calls for use of Harissa paste a paste used in Moroccan cooking made from peppers and spices like cumin and caraway.  While I could not find Harissa at my local Wholefoods store, I tried to recreate a paste as closely as possible to Harissa.  You can find the instructions below.
The subtle tastes of Harissa paste and lemon along with sweetness of apricots and crunchy cucumbers makes this dish quite interesting and complete.

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Recipe inspired from Gilt taste’s Whitney Chen Wright:  Moroccan Brown rice salad.

Harissa Paste:

  • 1/2 cup dried chili flakes
  • boiling hot water
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Add hot water to red chili flakes and let sit for 5 min.  Strain well and place in a blender with rest of ingredients and process until it forms a smooth paste. Add salt and pepper per taste. Refrigerate till use.

Ingredients

  • 1½ cups long grain brown rice
  • 3 cups water
  • salt to taste
  • 1 large handful coriander (the original recipe calls for Parsley, but I prefer the fragrant coriander)
  • 3 scallions
  • ½ cup dried apricots
  • 1 small cucumber
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons Harissa paste
  • 1 lemon, or to taste

Recipe

  • Combine the rice and water in a medium pot.  Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt.  Bring to a boil and then turn heat down to low. Cover and let barely simmer till all the water has evaporated and each grain is separate.
  • While the rice is cooking, chop the coriander, scallions, and apricots, and dice the cucumbers.
  • Zest and squeeze the lemon, and mix together with the olive oil and harissa. Adjust lemon to taste.
  • Once the rice is done, remove from heat.    Add the prepared vegetables and apricots to the rice pot without disturbing the rice.  Cover and let the whole lot rest for few minutes.
  • After 10 minutes, gently mix the steamed garnishes with the rice. Add the cucumber and dressing and toss to coat.  Adjust salt and lemon zest according to taste.

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