Green Rice Salad with Nectarines

Lovely, fresh side (in which I subbed orzo for rice) from Bon Appetempt.

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  • 1 cup brown basmati rice
  • 1 2/3 cups water, plus 2 to 3 tablespoons more for sauce
  • ¾ cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
  • ½ cup loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 small jalapeño, seeded and chopped
  • zest and juice of 1 small lime
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 small ears of corn
  • salt
  • 2 medium-ripe nectarines, pitted and thinly sliced lengthwise
  • ¾ cup crumbled soft goat cheese
  1. In a saucepan, combine the rice and water, cover, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, covered, until the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is tender, about 30 minutes. Let the rice stand for a few minutes, then fluff. Set aside to cool to room temperature. [If you choose orzo, as I did, just follow the instructions on the pasta package.]
  2. To grill the corn, lightly oil both ears of corn and place on a grill. Turn every few minutes until golden and cooked through (about 10 minutes or so). Leave longer if you want blackened in spots. You can tell if it’s ready because the corn gets more brightly yellow, as green beans or broccoli become more green as you steam them.
  3. Transfer to plate and set aside until cool enough handle. Using a large sharp knife, cut the kernels from the cob to yield about 1 cup. If you have more than this, save it for another use. Transfer the kernels to bowl and toss with pinch of salt and a squeeze of lime. Set aside. [Hint to cut corn off the cob, put a smaller bowl opening down in a larger bowl. Place the cob on top of the overturned bowl and cut the kernels off. The second bowl will keep the kernels from flying off.]
  4. Transfer the rice to large bowl. In a blender, combine the cilantro, parsley, jalapeño, lime zest and juice, olive oil, pinch of salt, and 1 tablespoon water. Blend until smooth. Add up to 2 more tablespoons of water to thin the sauce if it’s too thick. Spoon the mixture over the rice, scraping any remaining sauce out of the blender with a spatula, and mix until the rice is evenly coated.
  5. To finish, add the corn and additional parsley and cilantro to the rice. Toss to combine. Transfer the rice to a serving platter. Sprinkle the nectarines and cheese over the rice in even layers. Garnish with additional parsley and cilantro. [Note: since I lacked heat in the recipe, not having any jalapeños to add, I added capers at the end to give a saltier taste.] (Best served immediately. Can be made up to a day in advance; bring to room temperature before serving.)
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