Summer Grilling: South of the Border Texmati Rice & Grilled Veggie Salad Bowl

Lamb Slider with Smoked Tomato Mint Jam
Feeling Pot Lucky: Build Your Own Burger
July 1, 2016
Roasted Garlic Scape
Farm Fresh Garlic Scapes – Behind the Scenes @ Maple Achers
July 23, 2016
Show all
rice, grilled veggie, salad

It was a perfect confluence of events.  I was invited to a dedication at a local yacht club, complete with naval officers and Girl Scouts, and asked to bring a side to share.   I had just loaded up with fresh corn, heirloom tomatoes, peppers and tomatillos (it’s true, I have been to five farmers market in six days – it’s that time of year – and no, I don’t have a problem, but thanks for your concern)!   And then a fabulous box filled with RiceSelect Texmati Rice appeared on my doorstep awaiting a review (two thumbs up), courtesy of culinary friends at Mambo Sprouts.  The wheels were already turning.  Rice. Grilled Veggies. Salad Bowl. Rice & Grilled Veggie Salad Bowl. Voila! A summer salad jammed packed with flavor was born.

RiceSelect Texmati Rice

RiceSelect Texmati, in case you don’t know, combines the best qualities of basmati and American long-grain rice and has a popcorn-y aroma and nutty taste. Because the grains cook up dry, separate and fluffy, it is the ideal choice for a rice salad.  Flavor + Texture.  Win. Win.  I was off and running to whip up a big batch of South of the Border Texmati Rice & Grilled Vegetable Salad.  With Lime Cilantro Dressing!!  Oh, yeah!

As my mind was spinning around southwestern flavors, I remembered a vinaigrette that was a fan-favorite in my earliest catering days.  Lots of cumin.  It was pretty basic – a bit of a one note samba by today’s palate’s cries for layers of flavor – so I dosed it with Sriracha, a serious hit of lime (juice and zest) and cilantro. Yum.   I can’t be sure, though there are rumors of hoarding and hiding the leftovers, but I do believe this dish got better the next day.   Even the grilled romaine held up.  Especially with starch based dishes, it’s always important to re-taste for seasonings and acid both before you serve it and again the next day.  To my palate, it was still well-seasoned the next day, but it’s your kitchen, you be the judge.

Couple of quick notes to keep in mind as you are cooking:

  • Once the rice sits off the heat to absorb the final liquid, remove the lid, fluff it with a fork.  Since we are making a cold salad, drizzle a couple tablespoons of olive oil to coat and seal each grain. This will keep the rice from over-absorbing dressing later. And that friends, will let you serve it again over the next couple days.
  • The dressing recipe below makes a double batch and is a good one to keep on hand in the fridge. However if you want to store it for longer than a few days, add the cilantro to the salad, not the dressing.  The cilantro-free dressing will keep refrigerated for a couple weeks.
  • When chopping the grilled tomatillos, be sure to catch and add the juices to the salad. These liquids are a great way to add depth of flavor to your salad.  Single-handedly they add a rare combo – smoke AND acid
  • And zesting: if you aren’t fully stocked with a Microplane Zester/Grater, why are we even friends? For real. These zesters put the joy in zesting.  No chance of getting too much bitter white pith in the zest. No more scraped knuckles. Perfect every time.  And they are awesome for grating hard cheeses or spices like nutmeg. Run. Now.

Let’s get busy. This flavorful salad pairs perfectly with grilled meats or fish, or is a stand out as a vegetarian entrée.  Add toasted pepitas for a dose of protein if serving as a main.

Drizzling Little Gems with EVOO

South of the Border Texmati Rice & Grilled Veggie Salad Bowl

  • 1 cup RiceSelect Texmati White Rice
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons olive oil, plus more to drizzle on Little Gems
  • 3 tomatillos, husks removed
  • 3 ears corn, husks and silk removed
  • 1 poblano pepper
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, trimmed and seeded and cut into 4 sides and tossed in olive oil
  • ½ 6-pack Little Gems baby romaine (3 heads), trimmed and cut in half lengthwise
  • Ground coriander
  • 6 ounces heirloom cherry and/or grape tomatoes cut in quarter wedges
  • 4 ounces queso fresco, crumbled
  • 1 Avocado, chopped

Cook RiceSelect Texmati rice according to package directions.  After you remove the pan from the heat and let it stand 5-10 minutes, transfer the rice to a mixing bowl and drizzle with 1 ½ Tablespoons olive oil, fluffing with a fork.  Set aside.

Corn, Tomatillos, Bell Peppers and Poblano on the Grill

Grill the vegetables over a hot grill: tomatillos, corn, poblano pepper and yellow bell pepper.  Let the poblano char completely and transfer to a plastic bag to sweat.  When cool enough to handle, pull off the char under running water and remove stem and seeds.

Coarsely chop the tomatillos, poblano and bell pepper and cut corn from cob.  Add to the rice, along with any juices that release from the tomatillos.

Drizzle the Little Gems with olive oil and sprinkle with coriander.  Grill cut side down until the lettuce just starts to wilt and gets grill marks.  Chop coarsely and add to the salad.

Grilled Little Jem Baby Romaine Heads

Add tomatoes, queso fresco and avocado, and dress the salad with the Cumin Lime Cilantro Dressing.

Adjust seasonings before serving.

Makes about 3 quarts and is a fabulous leftover.

 

Cumin Lime Cilantro Dressing:

  • 1/3 cup EVOO
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro (see note)
  • 2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons Sriracha
  • Zest and Juice of 2 limes
  • ½ Tablespoon ground cumin
  • ½ Tablespoon salt

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk to combine.

Note: This will make twice the dressing needed for this salad and it will keep for several weeks refrigerated if you add the cilantro to the salad instead of  the dressing itself.  Or make a double batch of the salad and use it all!

Southwest RiceSelect Texmati and Grilled Veggie Salad Bowl

This post contains affiliate links.  For more of my must-have faves, check out my shop.

© Copyright: KatyKeck.com 2016. All rights reserved.

Hey, we want to hear from you!

Don’t forget to Comment below, Share & Subscribe to our blog.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

16 Comments

  1. El Capitan says:

    Encore, Katy!!! Keep these yummy and pretty seasonal recipes coming!

  2. Chari says:

    Hello Katy! This looks absolutely delicious and perfect for this time of year! My question is, can I put together this recipe without grilling the vegetables? (Yes, I know it’s in the title) If so, how would you suggest cooking them?

    • Katy Keck says:

      You can cook the corn in boiling water; roast the peppers and tomatillos in the oven at 425, and if you have gas, turn the poblano over an open flame til charred. If you don’t have gas, just put the poblano and romaine under the broiler til the pepper chars and the romaine starts to wilt. The key to this recipe is rice and the vinaigrette so really you can do whatever you want to jazz up the chunky additives – no wrong answers: raw, grilled, roasted, boiled. Its very flexible and up to personal preference.

  3. Lorimac says:

    While on vacation in Hawaii, I went to five farmers markets, so I do not think you are crazy. It was way more crazy for me to go to all of these markets with fabulous fruit/vegs while realizing that I could not take them home with me. To add insult to injury, pineapple has now been ruined for me – the pale flavorless versions in NJ stores were fine before, and now they reduce me to tears……

    • Katy Keck says:

      So happy you are going local on this trip. Pineapple might be like child birth (having never given birth) – you forget just enough to be able to do it again. Maybe NJ isn’t over forever????

  4. Linda says:

    Just made this and it was wonderful. I had peppers from my garden and tomatillos from the farmers market. Loved the flavors. I think it would also be good with black beans and/or chicken.

    • Katy Keck says:

      Glad you enjoyed it! I almost added black beans but thought the list was getting too long for some readers. Good to know some readers want to keep adding!!! Great idea on the chicken. This is truly a “kitchen sink” dish and you can doctor it up wherever the wind blows.

  5. Lisa Herman says:

    Yum – I’m trying this! Minus the avocado due to my unfortunate avocado allergy 🙁 Guess I’ve got to get a Microplane Zester/Grater so that we can stay friends.

    • Katy Keck says:

      If you look closely, there were no avocados in the photos despite my dying efforts to make it happen. Not a single ripe one in three counties!! And yes you do need a microplane zester/grater (unless Mr. Science has a wood rasp you can borrow). I have made it oh so convenient for you to acquire – glance right on up to the top and click on the shop button.

      • Lisa Herman says:

        Ahh, you forget that Mr. Science only does theory. So no wood rasp. Thanks for making ordering easy. And yeah, I kept looking for the avocado in the photo. But those sneaky things sometimes hide in plain sight.

        • Katy Keck says:

          Follower Linda (above) suggested black beans – might be just as yummy as the avo without the drama for you. Even though Mr. Science is only theoretical, hide the microplane, lest he get woodworky on you.

  6. Judy says:

    This is another winner, Katie! I got so-into grilling corn this summer and this was one of my absolute faves. I grilled local Lake Michigan Lake Trout to serve with this. Great for lunch as a left over (without the lettuce), alone or with grilled shrimp or left over meat from the night before..

    • Katy Keck says:

      Yeah!! Those toppings sound delicious. And I found – surprised myself – that the grilled little gems romaine held up well in leftovers. Color me surprised.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *