Black rice and cashew nut salad

Black rice and cashew salad

This is a lovely, creamy, chewy, nutty, satisfying salad, full of fibre, protein and good fats. Great for a bbq at this time of year, with some fresh, garlicky, lemony seafood. The broken cashews in the recipe are much cheaper to buy than whole, and just what you need for this recipe.

Serves 8

Ingredients

250g black Venus rice

150g raw broken cashews

400g mixed asparagus spears, green beans and tenderstem broccoli (or a combination of similar in season)

A handful of flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped

Pomegranate arils (optional), and a few saved parsley leaves and cashews to garnish

For the tahini dressing (makes about 1 cup):

80g tahini

80g extra virgin olive oil

4 tbs fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)

1 tsp tamari (or coconut aminos, if soy free)

1 tsp raw honey

2 small cloves garlic, crushed

1/4 tsp himalayan pink salt

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Method

Place the rice in a medium sized pan with a lid, and add 500ml filtered water. Bring to the boil uncovered, then reduce the heat to a simmer, and cover with the lid. Simmer for 35-45 minutes, stirring occasionally and checking for an al dente texture near the end of the cooking time. Drain (if there’s any water left), rinse in cold water, drain very well again, and put in a large salad bowl.

Meanwhile:

  • Toast the cashews lightly. Put them in a dry frying pan over a medium heat, large enough so they can spread across the pan, stirring often, until lightly browned. Remove from the heat to cool.
  • Steam the vegetables for 5 minutes, so they still have some bite. Rinse under cold water to keep their colour and stop them cooking further.
  • Make the dressing. Put the tahini in a small bowl, add the rest of the dressing ingredients and whisk together until smooth. It should be pourable but still reasonably thick – add a tbs or so of filtered water if you feel it needs it. Put aside.

Then add the cashews, vegetables and chopped parsley to the rice and mix together gently.

Pour over the dressing – use about 2/3rds, stir really well so everything is coated. Be careful not to break up the vegetables too much, especially the asparagus spears, then add more dressing as required, tasting as you go. I added pretty much all of it, but you may like it less rich.

Garnish with pomegranate seeds.

You could swap fresh coriander for the parsley too, or use both if you like.

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