Have you had a hectic weekend and feeling like you want to be a little bit more healthy this week?
Well…step away from the limp leafy greens and sad steamed kale, this is one exciting summery salad to get you saying YES CHEF to a bit of naked, unprocessed, healthful cooking.
Nutty, fresh, zingy and filling, with a mix of brown rice, herbs and sweet sultanas, this salad is packed full of texture and flavors. It is also super simple and fast to make. The only cooking is in the boiling of the rice, which can be done ahead to speed up the process.
It is a great dish for a nutrient-rich, veggie weeknight dinner, or to fill your daily lunch box. Bonus is that you can dress it ahead with no risk of wilty leaves. The dressing, in fact, marinades into the salad, making it better over time.
I have used a mature Comte to coat the toasted hazelnuts. This cheese compliments the earthy spices and sweet honey beautifully. The result being a crunchy melted cheesey-nut crumble, with sweetness and spice that adds wonderful texture to that salad.
I often double to quantity of the hazelnuts and keep them in a jar for a convenient snack and a mid-afternoon nibble
The rice salad is great serves simply as is, with lashings of the cumin and smoked paprika-spiked dressing. However if you want to go for a more impressive meal for guests, certainly check out my video for golden roasted maple chicken thighs here. The flavors of the chicken work beautifully with the delicious salad.
Another option, (for all the Comte cheese fans out there,) I would also recommend checking out my video here for my favorite Sweet Potato, Fig and Comte Cheese Tart, for a veggie option. Its another winning summer recipe, that is perfect for summer picnics.
Red Cabbage Rice Salad with Comté-crumbed Hazelnuts Recipe
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
- 400g/ 1 cup brown rice
- 1 small red cabbage, shaved in wafer thin slices
- 1 apple, peeled and thinly shaved
- 15g fresh parsley leaves, roughly chopped
- 100g golden sultanas
For the Comté-crumbed Hazelnuts
- 175g hazelnuts
- 1 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 tsp of ground cumin
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 100g Comté cheese, grated
- A couple of pinches of sea salt
For the Dressing
- 8 tbs extra virgin olive oil
- 4 tbs apple cider vinegar
- 2 tsp maple syrup
- 2 clove garlic, grated
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- Salt and pepper
Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees/ Gas mark 4
Wash the rice in a sieve, under the cold tap, until water runs clear. Place the rice into a saucepan and cover with cold water by an inch. Place the rice pan over the stove, on a medium heat. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to its lowest and place the lid on the pan. Cook for 20-25 minutes or until the rice is tender and the water evaporated. Once cooked set aside to cool slightly.
Bash the hazelnuts in pestle and mortar until they reach a rustic chunky shards. You will have a nice mix of larger and smaller pieces. Add the hazelnuts to a bowl with the remaining Comté-crumb ingredients and mix well. Pour the hazelnut mixture on a baking tray and place in the oven to toast and go golden for 10 minutes. Once cooked set aside, to cool, for 10 minutes.
Shave the cabbage and apple finely using a peeler, or mandolin. Add both to a large bowl with the cooked rice, parsley and sultanas. Whisk together the dressing and mix through the salad. Taste and season accordingly. You may want to add more salt, or a dash more cider vinegar.
Stir through 3/4 the Comté-crumbed hazelnuts.
Finally finish with the remaining hazelnuts and a few parsley leaves.
Serve warm or cold. The rice salad will keep in the fridge for up to 48 hours.