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The Best Rice Dish I've Ever Tasted

A fresh combination of herbs and vine-ripe tomatoes makes this a winning side dish for any meal.

I have many Barefoot Contessa (Ina Garten) cookbooks, and found this amazing recip in her "Family Style."

The combination of nutty brown rice, ripe tomatoes and fresh basil could be just ho-hum (it is not) or awesome (which it is). 

This would make a super easy, attractive and tasty side dish to any main dish at any meal. It could be easily doubled for a crowd. The best part is that you can make it ahead of time (let it come to room temperature and don't add the fresh basil until you are ready to serve it). This is served at room temperature so you don't have to worry about it being hot or cold - a breeze for the cook.

This is one side dish that is low-maintenance with great flavor and color.

Brown Rice, Tomato and Basil Salad

Serves 6

1 cup brown rice

2 tsp. kosher salt, divided

1/4 cup champagne or rice wine vinegar

2 tsp. sugar

1 T olive oil

freshly ground black pepper

1 lb. ripe tomatoes, cut in large dice

1 cup packed fresh basil leaves, chopped (this is a must-have. If you don't have fresh basil, wait on this dish until you do.)

In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, bring 2 1/4 cups of water to boil and add the rice and one teaspoon of salt. Return to a boil, cover and simmer for 30-40 minutes until rice is tender. Transfer rice to a large bowl.

Whisk together the vinegar, sugar, olive oil, remaining teaspoon of salt and a pinch of pepper. Pour over the rice. Mix well. Add the tomatoes and basil. Mix well and check for seasonings. Serve at room temperature.

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