I made it to 23 before trying brown rice. I come from a household of Chicken Tonight, white bread, and salads consisting of some iceberg lettuce and a few slices of tomato. It was at a work Christmas BBQ that I first shovelled a forkful of brown grains into my mouth and marvelled at their nutty chewy texture. I was hooked. This is the salad that hooked me with it’s rather romantic name of ‘Brown Rice Salad.’
This wholesome little beast has it all; it’s tangy, nutty and crunchy with some freshness from the parsley and a little burst of sweetness from the currants. I have made it for just about every BBQ I have attended since as it is a perfect option for vegetarians who need something a bit more substantial.
It certainly ticks all the health boxes too- vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free and full of nuts and seeds for protein.
Have you heard of umami? It is sometimes described as the savoury flavour we can taste (in addition to sweet, salty, sour and bitter) and is often in high levels in aged or fermented foods like cheeses or soy sauce. Umami can make some young, crisp wines taste thin and bitter. To overcome this, a wine with some residual sugar pairs well with this salad- something like a moscato or a rosé with a hint of sweetness goes really well and these are also good wines to sip on hot summer afternoons, so it’s win-win.
Are there any really common foods you didn’t taste until you were an adult like my brown rice experience?
If you give this recipe a go I would love to hear about it. Tag your pics with #cccooks 🙂
- 1 cup (190g/6.8 oz) brown rice
- 3 spring onions/shallots
- 1 small red capsicum
- 1/3 (50g/1.8 oz.) cup currants
- 60g/2 oz. raw unsalted cashews
- 2 Tbsp (30g/1oz.) sunflower seeds
- 6 Tbsp soy dressing
- 3 Tbsp chopped parsley
- 1/4 cup (80mL) oil (I use olive oil)
- 1.5 Tbsp soy sauce (for gluten-free use Tamari)
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 clove garlic, crushed
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Cook rice according to pack directions and allow to cool.
- Toast cashews and sunflower seeds on a dry frypan over low heat until lightly toasted and allow to cool.
- Finely chop capsicum and spring onions.
- Finely chop parsley
- Toss all ingredients together with dressing just before serving.
- Whisk all ingredients together.
- The original recipe calls for just 6 Tbsp of dressing- start with this and then add the rest (only about a tablespoon leftover) if you want more flavour.
- I usually prep all the ingredients well in advance so the rice and nuts/seeds can cool then give the dressing a quick whisk before tossing everything together just before serving.