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Gluten-Free Basics & Beyond

Gluten-Free Ingredient List:

Rice

Rice

In the gluten-free kitchen, rice is a lifesaver.

Raw rice is gluten-free, which is great news for people trying to cut gluten out of their diets. There are many rice varieties on the market and many ways to prepare rice: as a simple side dish, an appealing salad, or a hearty main course when paired with multiple vegetables, or even as hearty rice cakes.

  • Arborio Rice

    Arborio, the variety of medium-grain rice that we use in the test kitchen to make risotto, was once grown exclusively in Italy. Now widely available, these stubby, milky grains have a high starch content, which is what enables them to make such creamy risotto. [Buy on Amazon]

  • Basmati Rice

    Prized for its nutty flavor and sweet aroma, basmati rice is eaten in pilafs and biryanis and with curries. Indian basmati is aged for a minimum of a year, though often much longer, before being packaged. Aging dehydrates the rice, which translates into grains that, once cooked, expand greatly. We don’t recommend American-grown basmati. [Buy on Amazon | Read Our Review]

Rice is Nice

Brown Rice Bowl with Roasted Carrots, Kale and Fried Eggs

This comforting combination of rice, vegetables, and eggs will be your new weeknight favorite.

 

  • Black Rice

    Like brown rice, black rice is sold unhulled. But only black rice contains anthocyanins, the same antioxidant compounds found in blueberries and blackberries. These compounds are what turn the rice a deep purple as it cooks. Note that black rice is especially easy to overcook. To keep it from turning mushy, we have found that boiling it in an abundance of water (similar to cooking pasta) is the best approach.

  • Brown Rice

    All rice (except wild) starts out as brown rice. Each grain of rice is made up of an endosperm, germ, bran, and a protective outer hull or husk. Brown rice is simply rice that has been husked and cleaned. Considered a whole grain, brown rice has more fiber and vitamins than white rice, along with a firmer texture and a nuttier, earthier flavor. Keep in mind that the bran and germ contain oils that shorten the rice’s shelf life. Brown rice takes longer to cook than white rice because it requires more time to allow water to penetrate the bran. Brown rice comes in a variety of grain sizes: short, medium, and long. Long-grain brown rice, the best choice for pilafs, cooks up fluffy with separate grains. Medium-grain brown rice is a bit more sticky, perfect for risotto, paella, and similar dishes. Short-grain brown rice is the most sticky, ideal for sushi and other Asian dishes where getting the grains to clump together is desired. [Buy on Amazon]

  • Jasmine Rice

    Native to Thailand and a staple in Southeast Asian cuisine, jasmine rice has an aroma similar to basmati rice, but the texture is stickier and moister and the grain size is much smaller. Compared with other varieties of long-grain rice, jasmine rice tends to cook up relatively soft and sticky, though it maintains a slightly firm chew. Because it clumps together when cooked, jasmine rice works well in stir-fries. It’s also nice in soups. [Buy on Amazon | Read Our Review]

  • White Rice

    Like brown rice, white rice has been husked and cleaned, but then it is processed a step further by removing the germ and bran. This makes the rice cook up faster and softer, and it’s more shelf- stable, but the process also removes much of the fiber, protein, and other nutrients, as well as flavor. Like brown rice, white rice can be long-, medium-, or short-grained. Long-grain is a broad category and includes generic long-grain rice as well as aromatic varieties such as basmati and jasmine. The grains are slender and elongated and measure four to five times longer than they are wide. Long-grain white rice cooks up light and fluffy, with firm, distinct grains, making it good for pilafs and salads. Medium-grain white rice includes a wide variety of specialty rices, including many Japanese and Chinese brands, used to make risotto and paella. The grains are fat and measure two to three times longer than they are wide. Medium-grain white rice cooks up a bit sticky, and when simmered the grains clump together, making this rice a common choice in Chinese restaurants. With the exception of sushi, we don’t eat much short-grain white rice in this country. The grains are almost round, and the texture is quite sticky and soft when cooked. Avoid converted rice, which is parboiled during processing. This tan- colored rice cooks up too separate in our opinion, and the flavor seems a bit off. [Buy on Amazon | Read Our Review]

  • Wild Rice

    Wild rice is technically not in the same family as other rices; it’s actually an aquatic grass. North America’s only native grain, it grows naturally in lakes and is cultivated in man-made paddies in Minnesota, California, and Canada. Its smooth grains have a remarkably nutty, savory depth and a distinct chew that make it an ideal choice for a hearty side dish or addition to soup. Cook wild rice at a bare simmer and check it often: It can go from chewy and underdone to mushy and “blown out” in a matter of minutes. [Buy on Amazon | Read Our Review]

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