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rocket and wild rice salad with a zingy lemon and garlic dressing

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summer is here, and I’m really into salads…..And with the warmer weather, I’ve been trying to introduce my boys to some, interesting and tasty vegetarian meals……..And healthy salads, full of seeds, nuts and grains are just the perfect meal or side to serve at the next bbq…… Now I really love the peppery taste of rocket……I find it really easy to whip up a rocket salad by adding just a sprinkle of salt and a squeeze of fresh lemon  juice.  simple, elegant and delicious……but tonight I’m making a more substantial salad.

I found this recipe for rocket and wild rice salad, with zingy lemony dressing on http://www.cookieandkate.com.  This salad is a treat for the taste buds.  Studded with toasted sliced almonds and dried cranberries, it’s clean, tasty, and very healthy.  Actually it’s a meal in itself, but tonight I’m serving it with bbq barramundi fillets….quite lovely.

The wild rice is the real substance to this salad.  Wild rice is not really rice…but a different member of the grass family.  It’s texture is chewy and it’s taste is quite nutty….I just love it and i’m so happy that I found this recipe.  The original recipe uses dried sour cherries and has crumbled feta cheese on top. But I used cranberries and left the cheese out, and it was just perfect.  We all loved it.

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WHAT YOU NEED FOR THE SALAD
1 cup wild rice, rinsed in a strainer
½ cup sliced almonds
200 grams rocket (about 5 cups)
½ cup coarsely chopped fresh basil
½ cup dried cranberries

WHAT YOU NEED FOR THE DRESSING
¼ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice (about 1 medium lemon, juiced)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon maple syrup
1 small clove garlic, crushed
¼ teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

 WHAT YOU NEED TO DO

  1. Boil a pot of water, and add the rinsed rice, continue boiling for 35 – 40 minutes.  Drain rice and return to pot (it should be just chewy, not too hard and not too soft).  Then cover rice with a lid and rest for 15 minutes before removing the lid and letting the rice cool.

  2. Toast the sliced almonds, by heating a little oil and a pinch of salt in a small pan and frying almonds for 5 minutes stirring every minute or so. When the almonds are brown and fragrant, set them aside to cool.

  3. Next make the dressing by whisking all the ingredients together and mixing well, set aside

  4. Now assemble the salad.  Place the rocket, cooled rice, chopped basil, almonds and cranberries into a large bowl. Pour in the dressing, and toss well.  The flavours really come alive with an extra pinch of salt.

    HINT….Make sure you set the salad aside for 10 minutes before serving.  This gives the rice time to soak up some of the dressing.

 

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