The weather in Victoria has shifted, and in the most glorious way. Most days have some sunshine and the nights are crisp and cool. The oven is often on without fear of heating up house. New season apples are on display at the green grocer. How lovely is Autumn. This salad is pretty classic combination of ingredients, especially as the months get cooler. Apples, walnuts, celery, shallots, greens. I’ve turned it into a bit more of a substantial meal with the addition of boiled eggs and red rice.
Red rice was on my (long!) list of must tries, and this was my first time cooking with it. It was pretty much exactly the same as preparing regular basmati rice. I used the absorption method, 1 part rice to 1 and 1/2 parts water. The result was a lovely and super flavoursome – absolutely worth considering, especially if you are not a fan of brown rice. The two have very similar nutrient values, however I found that the red rice is a fair bit milder in flavour, and also not as quite toothsome as brown rice. My son prefers it, so for me it is a worthy inclusion in the pantry. You can purchase red rice at the local health food store, but be warned it is fairly costly. I found mine at an Indian/Sri Lankan supermarket for the same price as any old ‘run of the mill’ rice. Definitely worth investigating if you have one near you! If you do not have any red rice, I would suggest replacing it with either brown basmati, or a mix of white basmati and wild rice. White on it’s own would not cut it in this salad. This dish holds up pretty well in the fridge, minus the dressing. I was exceptionally happy to eat left overs for lunch the following day so keep that in mind when making this, you can have dinner and lunch taken care of in one hit.
Red Rice Salad with Apples, Walnuts + Boiled Eggs
To make this vegan simply omit the eggs. You could even use some pan fried tofu in it’s place.
– 1 cup red rice
– 4 boiled eggs
– 1 apple, thinly sliced
– 1 small shallot, very finely diced
– handful of toasted walnuts
– 2 ribs of celery, very thinly sliced
– handful basil leaves, chopped
– big handful rocket leaves
Cinnamon Citrus Dressing
(add to a jar with a screw top lid and shake with vigour)
– 50ml olive oil
– 50ml lemon juice
– 50ml orange juice
– 1/2 Tbsp lemon zest
– 1/2 Tbsp orange zest
– 1 Tbsp maple syrup
– 1/2 Tbsp cinnamon
– few pinches sea salt
Start by cooking the rice via absorption method; 1 cup of rice to 1 and 1/2 cups cold water and a big pinch of salt over high heat. Lower the heat to the lowest setting when it comes to the boil, place a lid on the pan and leave to cook undisturbed for about 20 minutes. Leave to rest for 5 minutes, and fluff up with a fork. Some will stick to the bottom of the pan but don’t worry about it. While the rice is cooking, make the dressing, prepare all your salad ingredients, and boil your eggs. When the rice is cooked, spread it onto a plate or shallow dish and leave to cook in the refrigerator. Cut your boiled eggs in half. Combine the cooled rice, shallots and celery, and stir to combine. Add the dressing and stir again. Taste for seasoning and add a bit of extra salt if need be. Add the sliced apple, rocket, eggs, basil and walnuts. Toss gently and serve.