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Zesty Spring Rice Salad matched with Delta Estate Wines Pinot Blanc

~Gluten-free, vegetarian (*see note)

The lovely team at Delta Estate Wines sent me some wines to try and create something Spring like to match!

I'm a huge fan of nutritious and delicious salads at this time of the year. Salads that are hearty enough to be eaten alone or alongside grilled or baked meat or seafood. Perfect for the warmer months ahead!

This lush zesty brown rice salad is packed with greens and creamy haloumi cheese all topped off with a fresh herby dressing. You could make it ahead for a Spring or Summer barbeque so that you're free to enjoy the company of other rather than busing yourself in the kitchen and missing out on all of the fun! The recipe is also gluten-free and could be made nut-free by swapping out the nuts for toasted seeds. Delish!

I've paired it with the Delta Estate Wines 2020 Pinot Blanc which is a crisp and elegant dry white wine, rich in vibrant citrus notes. I hope you enjoy it!

Spring Rice Salad - serves ~6

  • 2 cups brown rice, cooked and cooled.

  • 2 cups frozen peas

  • 1 lemon, zest and juice

  • 2 Tbspn olive oil

  • 2 handfuls baby spinach, washed and dried

  • Extra 1 Tbspn olive oil

  • 150g Haloumi cheese, sliced into pieces

  • Optional: 1-2 rashers bacon (if using, grill until crispy and then cut into small pieces and set aside). Please note, adding bacon makes this dish not suitable for vegetarians!

Herby Dressing:

  • 1 handful fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped

  • 200g natural yoghurt

  • Zest of 1/2 lemon

Maple Salted Walnuts:

  • 1/2 cup walnuts

  • 1 Tbspn Pure Maple Syrup

  • 1/2 tsp coarse iodised sea salt


  1. First prepare the walnuts. Pre-heat your oven to 180C and line a flat baking tray with baking paper

  2. To a medium-sized bowl add the walnuts, maple syrup and salt

  3. Mix to combine and then pour the nut mixture onto the prepared tray. Roast the walnuts for 10 minutes or until golden brown.

  4. Once cooked, remove the walnuts from the oven and leave to cool.

  5. Cook the peas in a small pot of boiling water for a few minutes until bright green and tender, then drain.

  6. Combine the herby dressing ingredients into a small jar or jug and season with salt and pepper.

  7. Heat the 1 Tbspn of olive oil in a pan and fry the haloumi until golden brown on both sides. Set aside to cool.

  8. In a large bowl combine the cooked and cooled brown rice, cooked peas, lemon juice and zest, olive oil, golden haloumi pieces, (cooked bacon if using) and baby spinach. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

  9. Gently fold through maple salted walnuts and pour over the herby dressing just before serving.

  10. Enjoy!


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