Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Brown Rice Salad with Dates & Cashews

One of my favorite food websites has a series of articles called Not Sad Desk Lunches. If I were ever asked to contribute to the column (which my own lazily assembled desk lunches would surely prevent from ever happening), this rice salad is definitely what I would share.

The recipe comes from The New Laurel’s Kitchen Cookbook. I recently heard it called a hippie cookbook, but I only grew up knowing it was the source of this delicious “Persian Rice Salad” and my mom’s amazing homemade wheat bread. Aaand my favorite muffins, now that I think of it! Ok, back to the salad. It’s composed of delicious and nutty brown rice with a lemony dill vinaigrette, chopped dates, scallions, and cashews. If it sounds strange, please try it anyway. I think you will be pleasantly surprised. It’s so good and easy and definitely not a sad thing to eat at lunchtime, whether you’re at your desk or on a picnic in the park.

If you can find short grain brown rice, definitely get it. The texture is amazing in this and in general. A note on cooking brown rice: you can certainly follow the stovetop directions on the package, but if that intimidates you, check out one of the other many options.
- Rice Cooker: I have found that long grain brown rice cooks up exceedingly well with a 2:1 ratio of water to rice in the rice cooker. I don’t know about short grain because, alas, I haven’t been able to find it lately.
- Pasta Method: check it out here or here
- Instant Pot: Our Best Bites swoops in to save the day again
- Let me know if you have another method you like

Brown Rice Salad with Dates and Cashews

From “The New Laurel’s Kitchen” by Laurel Robertson

2 cups cooked brown rice, chilled
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon dried dill weed
1/4 teaspoon salt, or scant 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3 scallions, sliced thin
1/3 cup toasted or roasted cashews, roughly chopped
3 Medjool dates (or 6 Deglet Noor – just “dates” at the grocery store), cut into raisin-sized pieces
Make the vinaigrette by stirring together the olive oil, lemon juice, dill weed, and salt. Mix together the rice, vinaigrette, scallions, and dates. Do not add the cashews until right before serving or they will become soggy. Add more salt to taste (probably unnecessary if you’re using salted cashews), and eat.

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