We are not vegetarians, but we do occasionally like to eat meat free meals and this is one of our favorites. When I make rice, I try to make extra so that I can make this salad. You can change up the ingredients depending upon what you like. You’ll notice in the above picture, I used arugula and actually didn’t have any rice that day. This delicious salad has enough protein and fiber to be a real meal versus just salad (if you happen to be one of those people that doesn’t consider salad to be a real meal!). I adapted this recipe slightly from The Kitchn.com .
Chopped Brown Rice Salad with Grapes and Pecans
Serves 6 to 8
For the salad:
1 cup cooked brown rice, cooled to room temperature
1 cup whole pecans
1 heart of romaine lettuce
2 cups red grapes
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
For the vinaigrette:
3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons spicy brown mustard
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 350°F and spread the nuts on a baking sheet. Roast the nuts in the oven for about 10 minutes, stirring once or twice, until toasted a darker shade of brown and very fragrant. When cool enough to handle, transfer the nuts to a cutting board and roughly chop. Set aside.
Chop the lettuce into bite sized pieces and slice the grapes in half. Combine the rice, chopped pecans, chopped romaine, feta and grapes in a large bowl and lightly toss to combine.
To make the dressing, combine the vinegar, olive oil, brown mustard, a pinch of salt, and a few shakes of black pepper in a small bowl. Whisk to combine, taste, and adjust as needed.
Leftovers will keep for about 5 days refrigerated.