If you give me rice, I'll eat today; if you teach me how to grow rice, I'll eat every day. – Mahatma Gandhi
The wisdom around rice is infinite, and yet somehow, I decided that I wasn't going to eat it for years on end. Carbs? Calories? Not raw enough? Cauliflower rice instead? Something ridiculous was taking place. Now that I am a full blown rice lover, I truly can't imagine life without it. It is a staple in our household – convenient, affordable, and easily dressed up in any number of ways. White to brown, basmati, jasmine, forbidden, jade, red, arborio... the options are infinite, and all uniquely delicious. Although nutritionally speaking brown rice gets all the hype, lighter rice varieties are actually easier to digest and provide much of the same nutrition.
Rice is a grounding source of nutrition. A staple crop to cultures around the world, and a base food for over half the world’s population. Although you'll read figures about the negative environmental impact of rice (and I'm not a scientist) rice provides a significant source of calories for billions of people and can be farmed on land that is otherwise not farmable. Is that sustainable? Not sustainable? It seems to me that the detrimental aspect is being a bit skewed. Telling people to eat rice isn't really that marketable, and therein lies a big problem. Although rice is an affordable crop that feeds billions of people, it's too easy to suggest eating it.
Variety is the spice of life we know. Mixing your grains up is as good as anything else. Try this recipe with quinoa, farro, barley, buckwheat, bulgur... you name it.
In an ode to spring simplicity and freshness take the vegetables and herbs you have and mix them with rice. Add flowers if you're feeling fancy. It seems so obvious, but it is so delicious. Try the herbs you don't know what to do with – lemon balm, sorrel, shiso, Thai basil – I could go on. The variety is truly endless, and each have their own unique health benefit. Add a little olive oil, lemon juice, sea salt – and voilà! A beautiful, healthy, and delicious one pot meal. And as always... add avocado!
SPRING HERB, FLOWER + RICE SALAD //
Although you can use any rice in this recipe, I am extra fond of basmati. Not only is the fragrance of cooked basmati rice one of my favorite things - it is light, fluffy, and very digestible.
3 cups basmati rice, cooked (1 cup dried)
1/4 cup each, torn herbs of your choice. I used purple basil, mint, sorrel, lemon balm, parsley and cilantro.
1/2 cup shaved radishes
1/2 cup shaved carrots
1 clove garlic, minced
1-2 teaspoons sumac (optional)
1/2 cup almonds or pistachios, chopped
Toss with 1/4 cup olive oil, 3-4 tbsp lemon juice, generous pinch of sea salt.
Garnish with edible flowers if you wish! These were blue cornflower and carnations. Both are on display brightening up my kitchen!