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Persian Brown Rice and Cashew Salad

Posted Mar 23 2012 12:37pm

Aspromised, here is the grain salad I mentioned in yesterday's post: an easybrown rice salad.

I love rice salads, in large part thanks to my mother who has several in her repertoire. The cooked grains soak up so much flavor--whatever the dressing you choose, the results will be delicious (for days). It's a an excellent side dish, but with the addition of cashews, it can also take the lead as a light entree or lunch.

The ingredients in this particular salad are all familar, but the sum total  is decidedly exotic. I love the way cinnamon, in particular, can surprise and delight when used in savory dishes. Here it works with fresh lime--both the juice and the zest-- to imbue the rice with tremendous flavor. Green onions and mint add color andfreshness; cashews a buttery crunch. 

Have a wonderful weekend! Hope the weather is as glorious where you are as it is here.

Persian Brown Rice and Cashew Salad
Makes 6 to 8 side-dish servings

1-1/2 tsp    ground cinnamon       
1/4 tsp fine sea salt     
2 tsp    finely grated lime zest 
3 tbsp  freshly squeezed lime juice    
3 tbsp  extra virgin olive oil    
1 tbsp  liquid honey or brown rice syrup        
3 cups   cooked brown basmati rice or other long-grainbrown rice, cooled   
1/2 cup            chopped pitted dates  
3/4 cup            thinly sliced green onions       
3/4 cup            packed fresh mint leaves, chopped    
1/2 cup            lightly salted roasted cashews,coarsely chopped       

1.         In a small bowl, whisk together cinnamon, salt, lime zest,lime juice, oil and honey.
2.         In a large bowl, combine rice and dates. Add dressing and gentlytoss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, until chilled, orfor up to 24 hours. Just before serving, add green onions, mint and cashews,gently tossing to combine.
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