green rice salad with nectarines + corn

For a few short moments it stormed today. If you were in New York, you walked and brunched and laughed in sunshine, and then a moment later: darkness. Rain. Coming down in sheets. I cut a brunch with a friend short because of an email I’d received about my father and his health. I spent the next hour in the middle of a street in Williamsburg on the phone, gathering information, and trying not to get angry at my father, who is possibly the most stubborn man I’ve ever known. Although he’s not my birth father, we strangely share many of the same traits: we appear tough on the outside, yet we’re extremely sensitive. And we’re big on saying, I’M FINE. I’M JUST FINE. When it’s clear that we are anything but fine.

So while I’m on the phone with my dad–and he’s pulling the JUST FINE line, and I’m calling him on it because it’s one I’ve used ad nauseum–it storms. You’re really pulling this shit on me? You’re really playing back the tape we both made? I’m in the middle of N. 6th Street trying to convince my dad that he needs to see a doctor. That this is real fucking life, and can you not yes me to death, please?

I took a cab home and the first thing I did was make a meal, because this is how I deal. I open a cookbook that bears the promise of light–a beautiful book filled with abundance and color, and, for a moment I can breathe. Kimberley Hasselbrink doesn’t know me, but today her cookbook gave me the gift of breath. My meditation is shucking corn and making pesto. My return to self is creating something from nothing.

This is how I breathe.

INGREDIENTS: Recipe from Kimberley Hasselbrink’s Vibrant Food: Celebrating the Ingredients, Recipes, and Colors of Each Season {I received this lovely book as a gift}
For the green rice
3/4 cup brown basmati rice {I used white, as that’s what I had on hand}
1 1/4 cups water + 1-2 tbsp for the sauce
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 small jalapeno, seeded and chopped
Zest + juice of a small lime
1 tbsp olive oil
Fine sea salt

For the grilled corn
2 ears fresh corn, husks and skin removed
Olive oil
Fine salt
1/2 lime

For assembly
2 tbsp fresh flat leaf parsley, plus more for garnish
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish
2 medium-sized nectarines, pitted and sliced thinly lengthwise
1/2 cup crumbled quesa fresca {I nixed this because of my ongoing dairy issues}


In a saucepan, combine the rice and water, cover, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and summer, covered, until the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is tender, about 30 minutes {truth be told, my rice was done in 15}/ Let the rice stand for a few minutes and then fluff with a fork. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

Pre-heat the broiler.

To grill the corn, lightly oil both ears of corn and place in a small baking dish. Broil about 6 inches from the heat source, turning every few minutes, until golden and blackened in spots, 10-15 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside until cool enough to handle. Using a large, sharp knife, cut the kernels from the cob to yield about 1 cup. If you have more than this amount, save it for another use. Transfer the kernels to a bowl and toss with pinch of salt and a squeeze of a lime. Set aside.

Transfer the rice to a large bowl. In a blender, combine the cilantro, parsley, jalapeno, lime zest and juice, olive oil, a pinch of salt, and 1 tbsp of water. Blend until smooth. Add up to one more tbsp of water to thin the sauce if it’s too thick. Spoon the mixture over the rice, scraping any remaining sauce out of the blender with a spatula, and mix until the rice is evenly coated.

To finish, add the corn and additional parsley and cilantro to the rice. Toss to combine. Transfer the rice to a serving platter. Sprinkle the nectarines and queso fresco over the rice in even layers. Garnish with additional parsley + cilantro. Best served immediately. Can be made up to one day in advance; bring to room temperature before serving.


8 thoughts on “green rice salad with nectarines + corn

  1. I’m grinning ear to ear out here on the west coast. I think this is the first recipe from my cookbook that I’ve spotted out in the wild! It’s really just the best thing to read this. Thank you!


  2. It stormed in St. Louis yesterday- sun shining brighter than it had shined all week amid the pouring rain. We’ve had temperatures at 90 and humidity that melts- no fun, but I’m hesitant to complain after the winter that we (all have) had.
    Hopefully you’re able to get through to your Dad. That’s tough. At least you know what helps you zone out. Great photos, as usual.


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