In the spirit of Halloween, I wanted to share a new warming winter salad with one of my current favourite ingredients… black rice. You might have already spotted it, but a few weeks ago I popped up a recipe on the blog for black rice with coconut milk, in the form of a warming breakfasty porridge. If you missed it, you can find it here.) Since then black rice has made a firm place for itself in my rather overflowing kitchen cupboards. Its nutty flavour, pleasantly chewy texture and versatility means it is good for anything from salads, risotto, to accompany soup and of course as a porridge alternative. I am yet to blend it up and get baking with it, but perhaps that is something to try…
I thought a warming winter salad, might also be just the ticket. Its a quick and easy way to feed a small contingent of hungry trick or treaters (although perhaps it’s not as transportable as all that) Anyway, I suspected you might have been after something easy and wholesome. It is this sort of thing to get you back on track after you get through your niece’s stash of trick or treat pick and mix. (Cue guilty face)
Black rice, smokey Carrot and Candied Pecan Salad
- 1 cup uncooked black rice
- 2 medium carrots, cut in rings
- 6 radishes, finely sliced
- a handful of parsley, roughly torn or chopped
For the Dressing
- 1 tbs cider vingar
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 2 tbs e v olive oil
- 1 tsp mustard
- 100g halved pecans
- 1 tbs maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tbs ev olive oil
- a good grinding of salt
To candy the pecans: Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees celsius/ gas mark 4
Toss the pecans in the oil and maple and paprika. Lay on a baying sheet and pop in the oven to toast and dry out. 10-15 minutes. When the Pecans are golden and toasted remove the tray from the oven and set aside. Don’t worry if they are a little sticky, they will harden and dry as they cool.
To roast the carrots: Add the chopped carrots to a baking tray, drizzle with a little olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Give the tray a shake to coat the carrots, then pop it in the oven to roast for 35-40 minutes
To cook the rice: Add the black rice in a saucepan and cover by and inch with cold water. Bring the rice to the boil over a medium heat, then add a lid and reduce the heat to a low simmer. Cook the rice for 25 minutes, or according to packet instruction. You want the rice to be soft and cooked but not mushy. Once cooked add the rice to a sieve to ensure there is no water left in the pan.
To make the dressing : Add all the dressing ingredients to a bowl and mix. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Finally, when the carrots are golden, the rice cooked and the pecans hardened, add them to a bowl, with the radishes and the parsley, pour over the dressing, toss to coat, taste and season if need be.
It is certainly best to eat warm, when it is at its most delicious. Perhaps with a soft poached egg or a nice seared steak…. if you need any ideas, just take a look at this one
Also, if you have any good halloween dress up recommendations, I am in need. I am out for dinner at Bob Bob Ricard and need something ghoulish but not too foolish. I was thinking a scary Julia Child, but maybe a pinny and curlers are a bit much for a smart London restaurant??!