The cooking method here is similar to pasta. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and simmer the rice for exactly 10 minutes. The rice doesn't absorb the water; the extra liquid helps the grains stay separate for this salad. A squeezed lemon half (including the rind) in the water helps keep the grains white.
|Salt and pepper, to taste|
|2||cups basmati white rice or another long-grain white rice|
|3||carrots, thinly sliced on the diagonal|
|1/4||cup cider vinegar|
|1||teaspoon Dijon mustard|
|1/3||cup olive oil|
|4||tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and cut into strips|
|4||stalks celery, thinly sliced on the diagonal|
|16||ounces (2 cups) frozen peas, rinsed in a strainer under cold water until thawed|
|1/2||cup chopped fresh basil|
1. Bring a soup pot of salted water to a boil. Squeeze the lemon juice into the water and drop the rind into the pot as well. When the water is bubbling, sprinkle the rice into the pot and cook, stirring, until the water returns to a boil. Let it bubble steadily for 10 minutes or until the grains are tender - they will not absorb the water. Drain into a colander, poke a dozen holes in the rice with the end of a wooden spoon so the rice drains thoroughly; set aside.
2. Bring a small saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the carrots. Cook for 3 minutes or until the carrots are no longer raw but still crunchy. Drain and rinse with cold water.
3. In a bowl, whisk the vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper. Slowly whisk in the olive oil.
4. Transfer the rice to a large bowl. Sprinkle the dressing on top. Add the carrots, tomatoes, celery, and peas. Use a large metal spoon to fold the mixture together.
5. Taste for seasoning and add more salt or vinegar, if you like. Fold in the basil.