Italian Pumpkin & Red Rice Salad
Ready in: 30 to 60 mins
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If you're bored of the typical lettuce-cucumber-tomato salad combination, then give this hearty dish a go. Red rice, roasted pumpkin and butter beans will keep you feeling full, and the delicious dressing of balsamic vinegary, soy sauce and tamari really brings everything together. Recipe extracted from The Happy Pear: Vegan Cooking for Everyone by David and Stephen Flynn (£20, Penguin)
Ingredients:250g cooked red rice
1 × 400g tin butter beans
3 ripe tomatoes, chopped into bite-size pieces
pickled red onions
150g unpeeled pumpkin, roasted, cut into wedges
1 small bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
pinch of salt
50g toasted pine nuts
For the dressing:50ml olive oil
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
1 tbsp maple syrup
- Roast the pumpkin wedges in the oven at 200C/400F/Gas 6 for 25-30 minutes, until softened and starting to brown at the edges.
- When cooking your rice, make sure to add some salt as you cook it. That way the salt cooks into the grain as opposed to if you season it later, when it simply sits on the surface. If you can’t find red rice, use brown rice instead and add two tablespoons of sweet paprika and one teaspoon of oil to it.
- To pickle the onion, peel and cut it in half, then slice into thin half-moons. A solution of 100ml apple cider vinegar, 100ml water and a pinch of salt is needed per onion. Put the solution ingredients into a sterilised jar and stir to combine, then add the sliced onion. Allow to sit for as little as 10 minutes or as long as a couple of months in the fridge. The longer you leave it, the stronger the flavour will be.
- Drain and rinse the beans.
- Chop your ripe tomatoes. Finely chop the parsley.
- To make the dressing, blend all of the dressing ingredients together.
- Now think about presentation. In a large serving bowl, start with the rice, then add the beans and tomato. Drizzle over the dressing, then add the pumpkin, rocket and parsley and gently mix through. Add the oregano, thyme and salt, then taste and adjust if needed. Finally, scatter over the toasted pine nuts, and serve.