Sunday, July 10, 2011

whole grain rice salad with cherries, fresh basil and spinach

I was reading "Super Natural Every Day" by Heidi Swanson, ( who also has the great blog 101 Cookbooks: - and came across this recipe using fresh garden spinach and cherries ~ the earthy spinach, toasted walnuts, salty feta, and sweet juicy cherries go well together and make a beautifully coloured salad with the dark purple thai black rice: cook the rice to make 3 cups, and while still hot, pour over 3 cups torn spinach leaves and toss to wilt a little. Make a cherry vinaigrette in the blender: 1/2 cups of pitted cherries, 1/2 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup white wine vinegar, 1/4 tsp salt. Pour about 1/2 of this over the rice and spinach mixture. Add another 1/2 cup of pitted cherries and 1/2 cup toasted walnut halves to the salad and stir in. Turn the salad out onto a platter and finish with some feta, fresh basil leaves and a few more walnuts. I've never cooked this beautiful black rice before - it is sticky, and normally used in sweet desserts such as pudding in Thailand, but it worked very well for this salad which has an element of complimentary sweetness with the cherries.

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