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Monday, February 22, 2010

Filling Rice Salad!

After living in Chico near the heart of California rice country, I am drawn to salad recipes with rice as one of the main ingredients. I guess it had never really occurred to me to use anything but pasta as a main carbohydrate in cold and warm salads. But let me tell you, rice is a winner in most salads, depending of course on the additional ingredients and method of preparation.

Well I recently flipped past a rice salad that sounded too good to pass up in the March issue of Food & Wine magazine. It's a hearty salad that combines sweet pomegranate seeds, tart apples, and earthy pine nuts together! A winning combination for sure. I've modified the original recipe from F&W because it was actually two recipes and just involved a few too many steps. I want this recipe to be quick so I can enjoy it sooner rather than later! Before the recipe comes, I wanted to show you the inside of a pomegranate. I'd never seeded one, and it's quite an experience. Separate all those seeds from the white flesh and enjoy. You can also buy pomegranate seeds frozen at places like Trader Joe's, but that takes all the fun out of it doesn't it?


Short-Grain Brown Rice Salad with Apples, Pomegranate Seeds, & Pine Nuts!

1 1/2 cups short-grain brown rice
1 small onion, finely diced
2 3/4 cups water
2 tbs. thyme
1/3 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup plus 2 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
3 tbs. white wine vinegar
1 small shallot, minced
1 large tart apple, cored and diced
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds 
1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped

1. Cook brown rice with water in rice cooker. While cooking, saute onions in a small amount of olive oil until translucent and soft. Shortly before adding rice in step 2, add pine nuts to toast.
2. When rice is cooked, combine in saute pan with onions, pine nuts, and thyme.
3. In a bowl, whisk olive oil with vinegar and shallot and season with salt and pepper.
4. Combine liquids with brown rice mixture, apple, pomegranate seeds, and parsley in large bowl until liquid is absorbed. Toss before serving and enjoy!

Eric Lovelin Photography


  1. This sounds really good. I might try it this week, as I have not been cooking much in Montreal.

  2. Do you know the trick about separating pomegranate seeds from the white pith in a bowl of water? You work underwater and the white pith floats to the top, while the good seeds, arils, sink. You skim the pithy stuff off the top, then drain the seeds in a colander. Viola! Recipe sounds good. N