Colourful Rice Salad

On Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year), it is tradition to eat certain foods, called simanim (see-ma-neem). For the most part, these are sweet items because you want to start the new year on a sweet note. The foods that I am using today – from the selection of simanim – are apples, honey, beets and pomegranate.

I thought a good way to incorporate those ingredients into the meal would be to make a nice salad. I used a base of cold brown rice and tossed that with all the other ingredients and made a simple dressing. It was such a nice side dish and added a good pop of colour to dinner.

I had never really been a fan of cold rice dishes, but after making the Fried Rice Salad from Thug Kitchen 101 Cookbook, I had a change of heart. I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to make this salad today.

The dressing was so quick to make. It was just a mix of olive oil, red wine vinegar, honey, salt and pepper. It was sweet but a little acidic too, which I like. It coated the rice very well but it would be a good dressing for a regular lettuce salad too.

My family loved this salad. It was packed with some traditional sweet items, but there was also a lot of textures. The apple was crunchy, the beets are soft and the pomegranate pops in your mouth. And then you get some rice which is firm but a little chewy and everything is just perfect together. Very good dish.

The best thing about this salad is that you can prepare it up to 24 hours in advance. Nothing will go soggy or wilted. The only thing that will change is that the colour of the beets will start to bleed into the rice and it will turn a nice shade of pink, but honestly that just makes it prettier! I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw brown rice*
  • 1 apple, chopped
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate arils
  • 1/4 cup cooked beets, chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tbsp honey (vegan: use maple syrup)
  • Salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Cook rice according to directions on package. Let cool completely before using. *If using leftover cooked rice, you will need ~2 1/2 cups.
  2. In large bowl, combine cold rice with apple, pomegranate and beets.
  3. In small bowl, stir together all remaining ingredients to make the dressing. Season with salt and pepper, I used ~1/4 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp pepper.
  4. Pour dressing over salad and toss to combine. Serve immediately or chill up to 24 hours.

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