Green Rice Salad with Gremolata

Inspired by leftover boiled basmati rice but good enough to cook from scratch, this salad has a mayo-base vinaigrette, the first broad beans of the season, petits pois from the freezer, diced tomato sweetened first with a hint of sugar and plenty of herbs including basil and flat leaf parsley. The saving grace, though, is gremolata; a finely chopped mix of garlic, lemon zest and flat leaf parsley. Serve it with whatever you like but remember it next time you have either leftover rice or a bbq.

Serves 4
Prep: 30 min
Cook: 30 min

150g basmati rice
200g frozen petits pois
500g broad beans
3 tomatoes
generous pinch caster sugar
1 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp cider vinegar
6 basil leaves
10 mint leaves

for the gremolata:
1 lemon
25g bunch flat leaf parsley
1 new season garlic clove

Rinse the rice until the water runs clean; I do this in a sieve held over a mixing bowl with the tap running. Place in a lidded pan with 225ml water. Bring slowly to the boil over a low heat, reduce the heat to the lowest possible, cover the pan and cook for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave the rice, the lid untouched, for 10 minutes. Fork up the rice to loosen the grains and tip onto a plate to cool. Boil the kettle and half fill a medium pan with boiling water. Add 1 tsp salt, return to boil and add the peas. Boil for 3 minutes then scoop out of the pan into a sieve, splash with cold water and leave to drain. Meanwhile, pod the broad beans. Add beans to the boiling pea water (the peas gone) and boil for 2 minutes. Place the tomatoes in a bowl and drain the bean water over the tomatoes. Leave for 40 seconds. Drain, quarter lengthways and scrape the seeds into a sieve over a bowl whilst flaking away the skin. Chop the flesh and sprinkle with a pinch of sugar and another of salt. Press the seeds to extract maximum juice. Place the mayo in a mixing bowl, stir in the tomato juice, olive oil and vinegar, beating to make a thick dressing. Peel the broad beans by pinching one side of each bean using your thumbnail to cut the edge of the rubbery sheath. Squeeze out the bean. Discard the sheaths. Chop basil and mint. Next make the gremolata by using a microplane grate to grate half the lemon into a bowl. Peel and finely chop the garlic. Pick the leaves from the parsley and finely chop. Now chop all three together. Fold the cooled rice into the dressing, add beans, peas, tomatoes, chopped herbs. Toss together, add gremolata and toss again. Serve immediately or chill, covered with a stretch of clingfilm, until required.