Saturday, September 6, 2014

Sweet Brown Rice & Toasted Sunflower Seed Salad

White balsamic vinegar and fresh mint are the star ingredients in this simple brown rice and sunflower seed salad. To make a complete meal, I served mine with hummus, diced avocado and two kinds of salsa on a bed of chopped romaine lettuce and homegrown mung bean sprouts.

Sweet Brown Rice & Toasted Sunflower Seed Salad

For the Oil-free Vinaigrette:
2 Tbs white balsamic vinegar
1 Tbs coconut aminos or tamari
1 medium clove garlic, minced or grated
1 tsp honey or agave
1/4 tsp cayenne 

Combine dressing ingredients, mix well with a fork and set aside while preparing the brown rice salad. 

For the Brown Rice Salad:
2 cups cooked brown rice
1 cup toasted sunflower seeds
3/4 cup diced tomatoes
3/4 cup diced cucumbers
8 black olives, pitted and chopped 
10 fresh peppermint leaves, minced

Start toasting sunflower seeds in a dry cast iron pan over medium to low heat, stirring as needed to prevent burning. While seeds are toasting, prep remaining salad ingredients. When seeds begin to brown nicely, remove pan from heat and allow to cool. Store cooled seeds in an airtight container until final step.  

Add brown rice to a large mixing bowl. Pour dressing over rice, stir well and allow it all to soak together for a few minutes.

Add tomatoes, cucumbers and olives. Stir gently to combine.

Stir in mint leaves, cover and chill. When ready to eat, mix in about two thirds of the toasted sunflower seeds. (This is done last so that the seeds will remain crunchy and crisp!) To serve, top salad with remaining seeds and garnish with additional mint leaves. 

This salad can be made ahead and keeps nicely for two or three days, even after the sunflower seeds are mixed in and become chewy rather than crisp. Enjoy leftovers as part of a composed salad, as shown below. Bon appetit! 💚


Exploding Mary said...

I will be missing such salads now that autumn has come to Buffalo, NY-- our local produce will soon be reduced to apples and roots.

diana allen, ms, cns said...

Me, too. Good tomatoes in particular are impossible to find off season...
So thank goodness for pumpkins and squash! Baked and roasted, so yummy.