This salad has to be one of my favourite salads of all time and it could not be more simple. It’s a deliciously nutty and hearty mix of brown rice with sweet juicy corn, peas and fresh rocket with chewy dried apricots, tropical coconut flakes and chopped hazelnuts and pistachios. It’s an easy mix of simple ingredients that come together so wonderfully!
I highly recommend soaking your rice overnight or for at least 8 hours before cooking the grains as it makes them much fluffier, softer-textured and easier to digest but you can skip this step (I often forget or make this salad spur-of-the-moment and it tastes just as great). A trick to efficiency, water saving and minimal washing up is to cook the peas with the rice for the final 5 minutes – I tend to cook my rice as you’d cook pasta, in excess water which works well here.
The other components of the salad are tinned sweetcorn which adds a lovely sweetness and texture to the salad to contrast with the other ingredients. Chewy dried fruits make a great addition to any salad and I like to use dried apricots but you could similarly use chopped dates, dried figs or sultanas for example. Throw in some chopped hazelnuts and pistachios for a hearty crunch and some flaked coconut for a mellow coconutty boost and the salad is almost complete. Tumble throw some fresh rocket leaves for greenery and pour over the dressing.
Again, I’ve kept it simple by shaking up apple cider (or white wine) vinegar with good quality olive oil, lime juice for tang, syrup for sweetness and some cayenne pepper for a gentle heat. It really turns the flavours up a notch without being spicy or overpowering.
This Nutty Rice Salad makes a great lunch to take to work with you, or for a picnic as I imagined while re-creating this recipe as part of a lunchbox campaign with Perkier. It packs well and will keep you going all afternoon. It equally makes a great mid-week dinner and leftovers will keep well for a couple of days in the fridge, I’d suggest tumbling through the rocket just before serving to keep the leaves fresh.
This Nutty Rice Salad is nutty, sweet, crunchy, soft and chewy while being packed with plant proteins, healthy fats and vegetables. It is a great salad to serve to a crowd at BBQs or potluck dinners and friends will keep going back for more.
If you are looking for other summery salads, how about a Rainbow Quinoa Salad, Black Rice and Lentil Mediterranean Salad or Crunchy Coconut and Chickpea Kale Salad with Figs and Tahini Salad.
Nutty Rice Salad
A deliciously nutty and hearty mix of brown rice with sweet juicy sweetcorn, peas and fresh rocket with chewy dried apricots, tropical coconut flakes and chopped hazelnuts and pistachios.
- 100g brown rice
- 160g frozen peas
- 160g sweetcorn
- 2 handfuls rocket
- 80g dried apricots
- 20g flaked coconut
- 40g hazelnuts
- 30g pistachios
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- 1 tsp syrup
- 1/4 – 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- Salt and black pepper
1. If possible, soak the brown rice overnight or at least 8 hours by covering the rice with filtered water, placing a lid on the jar and then rinsing before use. Continue to cook the rice according to packet instructions, adding the peas for the final 5 minutes. Allow to cool if saving the salad for later.
2. Make the dressing by adding the ingredients to a lidded jar and shake until mixed, seasoning to taste with salt and black pepper.
3. Chop the apricots, hazelnuts and pistachios and add to a large mixing bowl with the cooked rice and peas, sweetcorn, rocket and coconut. Pour over the dressing and give everything a good toss.
4. Serve the salad warm or enjoy cold over the next couple of days.
I hope you’ll enjoy this Nutty Rice Salad, I’d love to see if you make it so please do leave a comment below and tag me in your creations. I’m @nourishing.amy on Instagram and use the hashtag #nourishingamy. I’m also on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest – please say hello!
With nutty love x