Brown Rice Salad: gluten free, dairy free, natural fruit sugar only
Growing up, rice salad was never on the family table, nor was it in the bain-marine at boarding school, but in an any event, this otherwise old-school classic is a new thing for me so rest assured that the I Heart Scratch version is all but old fashioned.
I’ve ditched the 1960s combination of white-rice, ham and curry powder to make a modern salad which is truly soul-warming. with it’s harmonious blend of nutty brown rice grains, crunchy almond flakes, soft and juicy currents, parsley, coriander and fresh orange segments. With a dressing of freshly squeezed orange juice and dijon mustard, my Brown Rice Salad makes for a truly wonderful, “ok, maybe I’ll have seconds, thirds, fourths….!” kind of a side dish.
This is also a great recipe for a weekend barbecue as I consider it to be a wonderfully healthy alternative to the all-too-common barbecue sides such as sour-cream-drenched potato salad or white-pasta salad, both of which are also high in carbohydrates, albeit arguably less healthy overall.
Even more reasons why you should try this recipe:
- The ingredients are easy to find (no need to visit a health-food store)
- It’s easy on the pocket
- It can be mass produced to feed a crowd – think weekend barbecue or large family gathering
- Leftovers are perfect for subsequent meals or your lunch box the following day
- It provides the perfect opportunity to embrace citrus season.
- Last but not least, it’s so good for you!
- Saucepan with lid, or rice-cooker
- Salad bowl
- 1 cup brown rice
- 1/2 cup currents
- juice of 1 orange
- 1/2 cup flaked almonds
- 1 (another) orange, segmented
- 1/3 cup firmly packed parsley leaves
- 1/3 cup firmly packed coriander leaves
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 20mL EVOO*
- An extra handful of flaked almonds, to garnish
*Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Rinse the brown rice under cool running water, shake dry and cook [steam] to package instructions using a saucepan or rice-cooker.
- While the rice is cooking, place the currents in a bowl with the orange juice and set aside.
- Let the rice cool [until its warm, rather than hot].
- While the rice is cooling, strain the currents, reserving the orange juice in a small bowl.
- To make the dressing add the Dijon mustard and EVOO to the reserved orange juice and mix until evenly combined.
- Finally, in a large salad bowl, add and toss to combine all ingredients, including the dressing.
- Garnish with flaked almonds before serving.
- This dish is excellent served at room temperature as a side dish for barbecued meats.
- It also makes for great lunch-box left overs, with some leftover meat or even boiled egg mixed through, so don’t be afraid to make a few extra serves!
- Steamed greens or a simple green side salad is also a lovely accompaniment to serve alongside this one too.
This salad will keep in a airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Tips & Substitutes
- When using Olive Oil, particularly in a salad dressing, it’s important to use a quality extra/virgin cold-pressed version.
- Extra/Virgin Cold Pressed Olive Oil is derived mechanically without chemicals. Oils which are not ‘extra virgin’ or ‘virgin’ may have been derived using heat and have a higher overall oleic acid content and lesser quality of flavour overall.
- Not only are cold pressed extra/virgin oils better for your health, but the overall flavour is insurmountably superior to that of regular hydrogenated cooking oils, which can leave your salad with a horrid and sometimes overpowering undertone of ‘processed-cheap’ (yes, there is such a taste!), not to a mention a heaviness, which doesn’t seem to come about with fresh and fruity, yet fuller-bodied (deep-coloured) cold pressed extra/virgin olive oils which offer a first class taste and aroma.