Since we are all trying to eat healthier, brown rice has become a staple in my kitchen. Serving a lot of brown rice presents a dilemma. How do I keep it fresh and interesting? Sometimes it is good just plain or sometimes with yellow onions, green onions, chilies, raisins, nuts, and cumin or curry powder. Many times, I use a brown and wild blend of rice. The jewel tones of the diced grilled vegetables in this rice dish make it very appetizing. Serve this rice on summer barbeque buffets or in the fall at holiday dinners like Thanksgiving.
1/2 medium brown onion
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup brown and wild rice blend
2 cups cold water
1 teaspoon of salt
1 zucchini, washed
1-2 Japanese eggplant
1 yellow squash
1 red bell pepper
1 large carrot
1/3 cup sultana raisins
Olive oil for brushing vegetables
¼ cup fresh mint
¼ cup fresh cilantro
Dice the onion and sauté in two teaspoons of olive oil in a saucepan with a fitted lid. Add the rice, stir for a minute, add the salt, add the water, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and let the rice finish cooking. The rice takes about 40 minutes to cook. Fluff the rice with a fork when it is finished and let it cool off.
Slice the zucchini lengthwise into about ¼ inch thick slices. Slice the yellow squash, carrot, and the eggplant the same way. Paint the zucchini, carrot, eggplant, and yellow squash with olive oil and a sprinkle with a little salt. Grill until cooked with light char marks.
Grill the pepper whole until lightly charred on all sides. Place the charred pepper in a paper bag to finish steaming and make it easier to peel.
Peel the pepper, remove the stem, and seed it. Dice the pepper and all of the other vegetables to about the same size. Toss the vegetables with the cooled rice, raisins, mint, and cilantro. Serve cold or room temperature.
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