In my circle of family and friends, whenever you get invited to a party at someone’s house, it’s sort of the unwritten etiquette that you offer to bring something along. “Salad or sweet?” I usually ask.
If the answer is “salad” I’ve got the perfect one for you. The reason why it is perfect because it can be made a day in advance, it can be dressed in advance (in fact it only gets better) and it’s incredibly tasty and will surely be the star salad on the spread and you’ll have everyone begging you for the recipe (just send them right here!)
2 cups brown rice, well rinsed under running water
5 cups cold water
2 cups raw nuts (I used a mixture of pine nuts, pistachios, cashews and almonds, but you could use one kind of nut or as many varieties that you like)
1 cup dried cranberries (craisins)
4 spring onions (scallions, shallots, whatever you call ‘em), diced
1/2 cup good olive oil
3 tablespoons soy sauce
ground black pepper to season
Place the rice into a medium pot with the water then bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 45 minutes, covered slightly with a lid. When cooked, drain and cool to room temperature.
Meanwhile, place the nuts onto a baking sheet and toast at 180 degrees celsius for around 5-8 minutes, until golden brown. But do keep an eye on them, they will burn so quickly! Cool the nuts slightly before chopping roughly with a knife.
To assemble the salad, grab a big bowl and pour in the olive oil and soy sauce. Top with the rice, nuts, spring onions, dried cranberries and pepper.
Toss through. Refrigerate until you need it.
What I love about eating this salad are all the different textural and flavour contrasts. It really hits the spot.
So tell me, is your circle of family and friends into BYO or do you expect the host to provide everything when you come to their place?