The Ultimate Brown Rice Salad

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This salad is pretty much a staple in our house. I make it a lot and I mean A LOT and it never fails to be delicious. I eat with all kinds of meats and seafood and also alone or topped with a fried egg. The leftovers make the best ever lunch too so always make a little extra!

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Brown rice is perfect for salads. It has a mild nutty flavour and is packed with fibre and B-vitamins to provide energy and sustenance. Once you get used to waiting for the brown rice to cook, I don’t think you can ever go back to white rice. I only ever buy brown rice now and the only time I have white rice is if we’re eating out and enjoying Asian or Indian food or if we’re cooking a risotto – which now that I come to think about it, we have not had for ages! Even fried rice and stir-fries are made with brown rice.

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You can roast up any kind of seasonal vegetable as the brown rice works well with anything. A nice combination is roasted beetroot, carrot and kumara mixed through the cooked and cooled rice with some lightly steamed broccoli. If you don’t have spinach, try kale or other leafy greens like rocket. The great thing about this recipe is that you can just work with what you’ve got.

This would make a great summer salad to take to barbeques or pot-luck dinners too!

The Ultimate Brown Rice Salad

  • 2 cups brown rice, cooked and cooled, to make about 4 cups of cooked rice (the rice needs to be cold so I often do this step the night before)

  • 3 cups vegetables such as pumpkin, capsicum, red onion, kumara, beetroot, carrot or zucchini cut into similar sized pieces or smallish cubes (I used pumpkin, capsicum, carrot and red onion here)

  • 2 Tbspn good quality olive oil

  • Pinch iodised coarse sea salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 cups spinach chopped, or baby spinach

  • 2 handfuls of parsley, chopped

  • 2 handfuls roasted hazelnuts or other nuts such as these Salted Maple Roasted Walnuts

  • 1/3 cup roughly chopped feta or goats cheese such as Kaikoura Cheese Chevre

Dressing:

  • 3 Tbspns extra virgin oil

  • 1 Tbpsn pure maple syrup or melted honey

  • 1 Tbspn wholegrain mustard

  • Juice of one lemon

  • Pinch iodised coarse sea salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  1. Cook the brown rice following the directions on the pack and then leave it to cool slightly before transferring it to the fridge to cool completely (I do this step the night before)

  2. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C. Line a large flat tray with baking paper and place the vegetables on the tray. Drizzle over the olive oil, salt and pepper and rub them all into the vegetables to ensure they are all well coated. Roast the vegetables for 40-50 minutes or until cooked. Leave to cool slightly.

  3. Place the rice, roasted vegetables, chopped spinach and parsley into a large serving bowl and mix everything together.

  4. To make the dressing, place everything in a small jar and shake until combined.

  5. Pour the dressing over the rice and stir through gently. Now add the feta and nuts and give the salad one final gentle stir to ensure everything is well combined.

Enjoy!

Gluten-free

#dinner #lunch

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