Noshtalgia

Nostalgia (nos·​tal·​gia):
1 The state of being homesick : homesickness
2 A wistful or excessively sentimental yearning for return to or of some past period or irrecoverable condition

Nosh (näsh):
1. Food
2. To eat enthusiastically

Noshtalgia (nosh·​tal·​gia):
Longing for a food you can no longer eat

Every time I return to my hometown on the east coast, I’m hit by a wave of noshtalgia that could drown the strongest Olympic swimmer. Driving by the space where my culinary roots originally grew, at Health in a Hurry, I’m suddenly yet predictably swept out to sea. The taste memories come flooding back; the white bean delicata, the almond pate nori rolls, and oh, the beet marmalade! What I would give for just one more bite.

Slowly, painstakingly, I’ve begun to reassemble the recipes by sheer force of will, powerful cravings, and a touch of good luck. All previous formulas have been lost to time, but some were so powerfully ingrained through repetition of preparation and consumption that they reemerge from their decade of slumber fully intact, unharmed.

As if they had been written down on the backside of a napkin that I finally thought to turn over, I find the formula instantly, without any revisions nor concessions made.

Welcome back to the world, Lemon Curry Rice Salad.

Arguably our most popular dish, I must admit that its charms were lost on me at the time. Adding raisins to a savory entree was still unappealing to my immature tastes, and the base composition was so basic.

Rice, curry vinaigrette, some vegetables and scallions, tossed and dished out. Sure, I ate plenty of it given the opportunity, and made gallons at a time to fill the front cases, but I never thought it would be something I yearned for when it was gone.

Older, wiser, and hungrier than ever, one bite of the grain and vegetable amalgamation brought me right back to those early years, blending up batch after batch of dressing, thinking for sure it was more than we could ever use and yet discovering that somehow, it still wasn’t enough to feed the hordes that arrived for their fix.

Warming, well-seasoned but not spicy, the golden elixir brightens a riot of textures, from the crunch of toasted cashews to the toothsome grains of rice, crisp carrot strings to the tender green peas and chewy dried fruit. It’s a daring, seemingly discordant combination, a diverse set of distinctive characters, that somehow manage to work together in delicious harmony.

Now I get it. Now, after reducing quantities to a more manageable amount, it would have been wise to double up, at least.

When you fall in love with the warming, tangy, and sweet blend, rest assured that it’s well suited to scaling up. Double, triple, quadruple, or more; feed an army or just keep some on hand to arm yourself against sharp pangs of noshtalgia. Trust me, you won’t regret it; this one has stood the test of time.

Yield: Makes 4 - 6 Servings

Lemon Curry Rice Salad

Lemon Curry Rice Salad

Warming, well-seasoned but not spicy, the golden curry dressing brightens a riot of textures, from the crunch of toasted cashews to the toothsome grains of rice, crisp carrot strings to the tender green peas and chewy dried fruit. It's a daring, seemingly discordant combination, a diverse set of distinctive characters, that somehow manage to work together in delicious harmony.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes

Ingredients

Lemon Curry Vinaigrette:

  • 2 Tablespoons Braggs Liquid Aminos
  • 1/4 Cup Lemon Juice
  • 1 Tablespoon Brown Rice Syrup
  • 3/4 Teaspoon Ground Cumin
  • 3/4 Teaspoon Ground Ginger
  • 3/4 Teaspoon Madras Curry Powder
  • 1/2 Cup Avocado Oil, Rice Bran Oil, or Light Olive Oil

Lemon Curry Rice Salad:

  • 3 Cups Cooked Brown Rice
  • 1 Cup Shredded Carrots
  • 1 Cup Frozen Peas, Thawed
  • 1/2 Cup Raisins
  • 1/2 Cup Cashews, Lightly Toasted
  • 1/3 Cup Thinly Sliced Scallions
  • Salt, to Taste

Instructions

  1. To make the lemon curry vinaigrette, place the braggs liquid aminos, lemon juice, brown rice syrup, cumin, ginger, and curry powder in a blender or food processor. Pulse to combine.
  2. With the motor running, slowly stream in the oil, allowing it time to incorporate and emulsify. Once completely smooth, blend for one more minute, and set aside. This can also be done well in advance and stored in the fridge for up to two weeks.
  3. To complete the salad, simply toss together the cooked rice, carrots, poeas, raisins, cashews, and scallions in a large bowl. Drizzle the vinaigrette all over and mix thoroughly to coat everything. It might seem like a lot at first, but it soaks in quickly.
  4. Season with salt to taste. Enjoy chilled or at room temperature.

Notes

Leftover lemon curry rice salad can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 553Total Fat: 33gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 27gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 510mgCarbohydrates: 64gFiber: 9gSugar: 17gProtein: 9g

All nutritional information presented within this site are intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information on BitterSweetBlog.com should only be used as a general guideline. This information is provided as a courtesy and there is no guarantee that the information will be completely accurate. Even though I try to provide accurate nutritional information to the best of my ability, these figures should still be considered estimates.

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9 thoughts on “Noshtalgia

  1. “Noshtalgia.” It’s brilliant. I have noshtalgia for many things in Toronto and in Montreal, which aren’t on another coast, but I get it. I am glad that you had success in recreating this dish—and that you were kind enough to share it with us. It sounds so simple, but often the simplest things are the greatest sources of joy. Thanks, Hannah. <3

    1. I had a feeling the concept would resonate. Even if you weren’t quite so close to a place that had gone out of business, surely, everyone yearns for an eatery that’s out of reach, if only from pure physical distance. I wish all restaurants would keep close records of their recipes for that reason!

  2. So I am bowled over with joy, pride and love, for I am the owner of Health in a Hurry, now closed but currently being reinvented. This writing has ignited parts of me that are warm and desiring to fire up. Hannah Kaminsky, you are a precious jewel. And “Noshtalgia” is nothing short of genius. XOS

    1. Sue, you continue to inspire me to this day! I truly do hope that Health in a Hurry will live again, in some form or another. Until then, I’ll keep on dreaming about those old dishes and perhaps trying my hand at reviving them purely from taste memory…

  3. I read your story about how Health in a Hurry closed, and it’s absolutely heart breaking. Then I saw the comment from Sue Cadwell and I hope it’s legit, because the place is only 54 minutes from my house!

    I have noshtaligia for a place called Green Symphony. It was a vegan Chinese food restaurant, and the food was amazing. My friends always joked that the spring rolls never made it to the inside of my house because I couldn’t help but devour them on the car ride. I’ve been to a few places like it, Loving Hut is a very close second, but the closest one is too far to visit often.

    1. Oh yes, it’s 100% legit! Sue was my very first employer, mentor, and still an inspiration and good friend. I’m incredibly lucky to have begun my career under her wing, since I literally didn’t know how to cook before we met. I still don’t know why she hired me, to be honest.

      I’ve heard of Green Symphony too, but never got out there in time. It’s crushing how quickly these places come and go…

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