Anyone who has a “thing” for rice knows that this magic grain is not only the nutritional staple for so much of the world’s population, it is also a great base for so many healthy and filling recipes, one surely loses count…
Now that the weather is getting warmer and the only thing we crave is fresh, cool dishes of flavourful combinations, this beloved salad recipe that was handed down to me by my mother is ready to become your own, becoming your ideal companion, underneath some lovely shade, guarding you from the heat and feeding your soul.
The juicy, black Kalamata olives paired with the strong sun-dried tomatoes create an instant Greek summer vibe, while the toasted pine nuts offer their rustic flair to this beautiful combination that soothes the eye and lures you in to its Mediterranean rhythm. Its is so simple and easy to make, it can become a last minute party salad, placed in a huge glass bowl for everyone to share, or an instant meal, packed with goodness and great taste that will keep your energy levels high for many hours.
The combination of the two different types of rice is not only a pleasing image but it also creates a great variation to the taste and texture of your base. As for the fresh basil to be torn by hand above a newly served dish? Let it fall like little green flakes, bringing all the aromas of your salad together in satisfying spoonfuls of mouthwatering greatness!
Spring Wild & White Rice Salad
1 cup long-grain white rice
1 cup wild rice
¼ cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
¾ cup sun-dried tomatoes, sliced
20 black olives, pitted and quartered (preferably Kalamata olives)
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh basil, torn by hand
½ cup virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 garlic clove, minced (optional)
salt to taste
pepper to taste
1. Cook both types of rice separately in an abundant amount of salted water, until the grains are tender yet firm to the bite; 16 to 18 minutes for the white rice and 30 to 40 minutes for the wild rice.
2. While the two types of rice are cooking, toast the pine nuts on an upper shelf of a 160℃ preheated oven until slightly golden, about 15 minutes.
3. Drain cooked rice in a large sieve and run cold water over it until the grains are cool to the touch. Drain thoroughly of the cold water and in a large serving bowl, combining the two types of rice. Mix in the pine nuts, pitted olives, sun-dried tomatoes and chopped parsley. Toss carefully.
4. To make the dressing: In a small bowl combine the olive oil, balsamic vinegar and the minced garlic. Whisk. Pour over the rice salad. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Just before serving, toss in the fresh basil.