For the celebration that followed Queen Elizabeth's coronation, the students at the London Cordon Bleu Cookery School were asked to prepare the meal. They invented a dish called Chicken Elizabeth, in which chilled poached boneless breasts, masked with a rose-colored, curry-scented mayonnaise, sat on a bed of jeweled rice.
I've made the dish many times and though the mayonnaise is sublime, the rice is just wonderful. Last weekend, I made a huge batch for a crowd. This time I added fresh corn and folded in basil leaves at the end. You can use all kinds of vegetables; the idea is plenty of color. Toss the grains and vegetables half a day in advance; add basil and dressing right before serving. The recipe doubles easily. You'll need a big bowl for the larger amount.
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 slice lemon
2 cups long-grain white rice
2 carrots, halved lengthwise and cut on a diagonal
3 ears fresh corn, kernels removed from the cobs
1 package (10 ounces) fresh peas, rinsed with cold water
1 stalk celery, halved lengthwise and cut on a diagonal
2 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and cut into strips
Large handful fresh basil leaves
1. Bring a stockpot of salted water to a boil. Add the lemon. When the water is bubbling rapidly, sprinkle the rice into the pot. Cook, stirring, until the water returns to a boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 11 minutes exactly. Taste a grain to see if it's tender. If not, let the rice cook another half minute. Drain into a colander, do not rinse. Use the end of a wooden spoon to poke a dozen holes in the rice to let the water drain. Set aside until cool.
2. Half fill the pot with more salted water and bring to a boil. Add the carrots and cook 2 minutes. Add the corn and continue cooking for 2 minutes.
3. Put the peas into a colander. Drain the carrot mixture onto the peas. Rinse them with cold water until all the vegetables are cold.
4. In a large bowl, combine the cooled rice (discard the lemon slice when you find it), carrot mixture, celery, tomatoes, and basil. Set aside.
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 heaping teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup mixed canola and olive oil
1. In a bowl, whisk the vinegar, salt, pepper, and mustard. Gradually whisk in the oil until the mixture emulsifies.
2. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper, if you like.
3. Pour the dressing over the salad. Stir gently. Sheryl Julian
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ContributorsSheryl Julian, the Globe's Food Editor, writes regularly for the Food section.
Devra First is the Globe's food reporter and restaurant critic. Her reviews appear weekly in the Food section.
Ellen Bhang reviews Cheap Eats restaurants for the Globe and writes about wine.