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Mollie Katzen's Green Rice with Grapes and Pecans

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[Photograph: Mollie Katzen]

Some of the recipes in Mollie Katzen's new cookbook, The Heart of the Plate, have appeared in different iterations in earlier cookbooks. This green rice salad is a re-jiggering of one of her most popular recipes for Jeweled Rice from Still Life with Menu. Between the bright, lemony, parsley-filled dressing, the sweet grapes, and the crunchy pecans, it's easy to see why the recipe is a hit. Because the rice is best served after a long rest in the fridge, it makes for an excellent pot-luck dish or brown-bag lunch.

Why I picked this recipe: I'm not sure I'd ever had a rice salad filled with grapes, pecans, and this much parsley. The color alone was enough to draw me in.

What worked: This salad really couldn't have been easier, and I loved how the lemon and garlic permeated the earthy brown rice.

What didn't: Katzen doesn't call for salting the rice cooking water, but I'd definitely recommend it. Be sure to season the salad well before it goes in the fridge. Remember, cold dishes need more salt than warm ones.

Suggested tweaks: You could use just about any leafy green herb here in addition to the parsley. Katzen recommends mint, and a bit of tarragon would be equally nice.

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of The Heart of the Plate to give away this week.

About the author: Kate Williams is a freelance writer and personal chef living in Berkeley, CA. She is a contributor to The Oxford American, KQED's Bay Area Bites, and Berkeleyside NOSH. Follow her @KateHWiliams.

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