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Sunday Supper & More

Harvest biryani salad

(Sally Pasley Vargas for The Boston Globe)
September 22, 2010

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Serves 4

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/4 red onion, finely chopped
1 piece (2 inches) fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1 1/2 cups basmati or other long-grain white rice
2 2/3cups water
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup sliced almonds
2 teaspoons grated orange rind
Juice of 1 navel orange
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
1/4 cup olive oil
1 large carrot, grated
4 apricots, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 cup seedless red grapes, halved
2 Cornish hens, meat shredded
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

1. In a flameproof casserole over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and ginger. Cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes, or until the onions are soft but not browned.

2. Stir in the rice, water, a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Let the mixture come to a boil, stirring several times. Lower the heat, cover the pan, and simmer the rice for 18 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let the rice rest, covered, for 5 minutes.

3. In a heavy, dry skillet over medium heat, toast the almonds, stirring constantly, for 4 to 5 minutes or until browned. Spread on a plate to cool.

4. In a bowl, combine the orange rind and juice, vinegar, honey, salt, and pepper. Whisk until smooth. Gradually whisk in the olive oil.

5. Transfer the rice to a large bowl. Fluff it with a fork. Let it cool for 10 minutes.

6. Stir the dressing into the rice and toss well. Stir in the carrot, apricots, grapes, almonds, shredded hen, and mint. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper, if you like.

Sally Pasley Vargas