Summer time means lots of get-togethers with friends and family. The best warm weather parties are pot-luck, which means finding dishes that are portable crowd-pleasers.
This salad is hearty, but also vegan and gluten free. It is flavorful, but also nutritious. Since there is no mayonnaise or other ingredient that spoils easily, this salad will be fine for several hours out of refrigeration.
This dish is improved by using the best possible ingredients. Select fresh, ripe tomatoes and bell peppers, feel free to mix up the colors. The secret to any grain, pasta or potato salad is to dress the starch while it is warm, so that the dressing is absorbed and lends its flavor to the blandest element of the salad. Also, it is key to save a bit of dressing to toss in the end.
Be sure to factor in brown rice’s long cooking time when you make this salad, which can be done a day ahead. Since curly kale benefits from marinating, this salad keeps well.
Brown rice and Kale Salad
For the rice:
1 Cup long grain brown rice
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
For the dressing:
Zest and juice of 2 lemons
1 Clove of garlic, grated or finely chopped
½ Cup Olive oil
¼ - ½ Teaspoon dried oregano
Pinch of red pepper flakes
About 10 leaves of curly kale, washed, stemmed and chopped into approximately 2” pieces
About 1 Cup of cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1 Yellow bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped (approximately 1” pieces, about 1 cup)
3 scallions, chopped (white & green parts)
About 1 Cup cucumber, chopped
About ¼ Cup chopped fresh Parsley
Salt & Pepper
To make the rice, heat olive oil in a medium size saucepan over medium-high heat and stir in rice. Stir to coat the rice with oil and lightly toast the rice. Add salt and two cups of water, reduce heat to low and simmer 45 minutes.
While rice is cooking, whisk dressing ingredients together in a large bowl. Reserve half of the dressing.
Wash and chop kale, tomatoes, bell pepper, scallions, cucumber and parsley.
Add cooked rice to dressing in large bowl, toss to coat. Allow dressed rice to cool (slightly warm is ok) and then toss with remaining salad ingredients. Add reserved dressing and salt & pepper to taste.
Serve immediately or refrigerate overnight.
Serves 8-10 as a side dish