Mango and Coconut Rice Salad
This is one of our favorite "fancy" winter salads. While mangoes are available year round, their prime season is late spring, and by the time summer rolls around we focus on using local seasonal vegetables instead. The recipe is heavily adapted from the cookbook Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi, where the recipes are delicious, but generally very time intensive and usually require several ingredients which I don't have at home or aren't in season together. This version strikes a balance between being really tasty, but also simple enough to put together on a weeknight.
1 cup long grain white rice (such as jasmine or basmati)
1 cup red rice
2/3 cup mint leaves, roughly chopped
2 medium scallions, thinly sliced
grated zest and juice of one lemon (I often substitute just lemon juice)
1 large or 2 small ripe mangoes, cut into 1-inch dice
1/2 cup pecans (you can pan or oven roast them for extra flavor)
2/3 cup coconut flakes (the large kind, not the small dusty coconut bits)
2 tbsp neutral oil such as avocado
salt to taste
Cook both kinds of rice according to package directions in separate pots (they have different cooking times, water needs, and the red rice would color the white rice red -- yes I've tried to save time by using one pot). Let the rice cool down to room temperature, you can speed this up by spreading it out on a tray or pan (warm rice makes the basil turn black).
Place the rice and all the other ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Mix to combine, but not too vigorously so the mango pieces don't become mushy. Add salt and taste, adjust the amount of oil, salt, and lemon juice to taste. This salad is great either at room temperature or cold.