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This Simple Brown Rice Salad is an absolute standby for any August barbecue, picnic or informal gathering. It’s easy and lazy – are you noticing a theme with my recipes of late? I’m hoping that most of these ingredients are already in your fridge so that if you are suddenly called upon to bring something to a large gathering you can bust this out with nary a stressful thought.
This simple brown rice salad can be played around with to your heart’s content depending on what ingredients you have in your fridge and barely needs me to structure it with a recipe but sometimes when inspiration fails you a little nudge in the right direction is needed.
The ingredients are made up of basic salad drawer stuff like celery, bell pepper, red onion, cucumber and cherry tomatoes. I have included flaked almonds for crunch but any nuts or seeds will do and I have used parsley and dill but again, if you have basil and coriander then go for it. However, the dill does work especially well and I think is a completely under used herb.
You can afford to cheat a bit with the pesto vinaigrette. I usually have a jar of homemade pesto knocking around my fridge but if all you have is Tesco own brand then use that – no judgment, after all you are making a salad and that is what should be celebrated, not that you have been given a slight helping hand with the dressing. Any type of pesto will do – green or red or coriander, whatever you have to hand. However, if you are using shop-bought pesto then the flavour might not be as punchy so have a taste and add more into your vinaigrette if needed.
The great thing about this simple brown rice salad is that it will pretty much go with anything else that’s on the table and it keeps well in the fridge for a couple of days so can be prepared ahead of time. I am really thankful to have this rice salad recipe in my back pocket this summer and hope you will be too.
Simple Brown Rice Salad with Pesto Vinaigrette
- 175 g brown rice
- 2 celery stalks - diced
- 1 yellow pepper - diced
- ½ red onion - finely chopped
- ½ cucumber - de-seeded, diced
- 150 g cherry tomatoes - halved
- 40 g flaked almonds - toasted
- 2 large handfuls parsley - finely chopped
- 1 medium handful dill - finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- juice of ½ small lemon
- 4 tablespoons pesto - (any kind, homemade or shop bought – whatever you have in your fridge)
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper
- Cook the brown rice according to the packet instructions then leave to cool.
- Meanwhile mix all the salad ingredients together in a large bowl and add to the rice once cool.
- To make the vinaigrette, whisk the Dijon and lemon along with some salt and pepper in a small bowl until thickened.
- Whisk in the pesto then drizzle in the olive oil whisking all the time until the dressing has come together.
- Pour over the rice salad, mixing in well.
- Store the salad in the fridge until needed.
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