Jasmine Rice Salad with Wasabi Leaf Pesto and Crystallized Ginger

By Adrian J.S. Hale as featured on The Oregonian

Makes 6 to 8 servings Wasabi leaves aren't easy to come by, but if you can find them they are well worth it for this bright, spicy pesto. (Flying Fish Co. in Southeast Portland usually carries leaves as well as roots from Frog Eyes Wasabi.) If wasabi leaves are unavailable, mustard greens make a good substitute. For an even richer flavor, make the rice with stock instead of water.


2 cups jasmine rice
3 cloves garlic, unpeeled
1 bunch wasabi leaves or mustard greens (about 10 ounces)
1 cup cashews, roasted (if you buy them roasted and salted, adjust the salt below)
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 ounces crystallized ginger, cut into 1/4-­‐inch cubes (about 1/4 cup)
6 ounces peas
1 summer squash, cut into 1/4 -­‐inch cubes

To make the rice: Soak the jasmine rice in cold water for at least 10 minutes. When it is slightly plumped and opaque, transfer to a colander or strainer and rinse under cold water until the liquid runs clear. Put the rice in a medium saucepan, along with 4 cups water. Set over medium-­‐high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for about 14 minutes, until all the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.

To make the pesto: Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil over high heat. Add the garlic cloves and blanch for 2 minutes, until the skin starts to loosen. Remove with a slotted spoon. Peel the cloves and add to the bowl of a food processor. Add the greens, cashews, vinegar, oil, salt and pepper. Process until the mixture is homogenous and the texture is no longer chunky, but not quite smooth. In a large bowl, combine the cooled rice with the pesto. Toss in the crystallized ginger, peas and summer squash. (Can be made and refrigerated three days ahead.) 

Posted on January 5, 2015 and filed under SIDE DISHES.