Grain based salads like this Brown Rice Salad with Apple and Pecans make for a healthy and filling lunch option.
Grain based salads are my go-to lunches these days. They are easy to make and you can adapt the salad to the ingredients that you have on hand. You can use your favorite grain as a base. My go-to whole grains are quinoa and brown rice. I like to buy the big bag of short grain brown rice at Costco. It lasts forever and is a great pantry staple to have on hand. I get Lundberg Short Grain Brown Rice at Costco and it is my favorite brown rice.
The dressing is a simple lemon and olive oil dressing; the lemon juice really brightens up the whole salad. To keep to apples from browning, I like to squeeze a little lemon juice over the apples before adding them to the salad. I am obsessed with Michigan Dried cherries, so of course I had to add them to the salad. I love dried fruits and I use to put dried cranberries in all my salads but after I tried the plump sweet cherries, specifically Michigan dried cherries, I can’t go back to cranberries. If you haven’t had the Michigan dried cherries before, I highly recommend giving them a try. If you can’t find them in stores, you can order them online!
I know that brown rice might not be the most popular grain for salad. The nuttiness of the brown rice pairs beautifully with the apples and pecans. You could use really any whole grain that you love. Quinoa would be great or maybe even farro would be nice.
For this recipe, I used Ginger Gold Apples but you can use your favorite apple. I love trying the different types of apples for their unique flavors. Have you tried Ginger Golds before? I discovered last year at the farmers market and I look forward to them every year. They are an early season apple here in Michigan. What is you favorite type of apple? I’d love hear!
If you make this salad, be sure to tag me on Instagram #thymeandlove. I’d love to see!
For the salad:
- 1 Cup Dry Short Grain Brown Rice
- 1 Large Apple diced
- Squeeze of Lemon Juice
- 1/2 Cup Pecans, roughly chopped
- 1/4 Cup Dried Cherries
- 1/4 Cup Scallions, minced
- 1/4 Cup Parsley, minced
For the dressing:
- 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice, about 1 lemon
- 1 Small Garlic Clove, finely minced
- 1 Tsp Dijon Mustard
- 1 Tsp Pure Maple Syrup
- 1/2 Tsp Salt
- 1/4 Tsp Black Pepper
- First cook the brown rice according to the package direction. Once the rice is cooked let cool to at least room temperature before adding the remaining salad ingredients.
- Once the rice is slightly cooled transfer to a large mixing bowl. In a small bowl toss the diced apple with a tiny squeeze of lemon juice. Add the apples to the brown rice.
- Add the remaining salad ingredients: pecans, dried cherries, scallions and parsley. Stir everything together.
For the dressing:
- In a small bowl whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, dijon mustard, maple syrup, salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings to taste.
- Pour the salad dressing over the salad and stir until the dressing is evenly distributed in the salad.
- Enjoy at room temperature or store in the fridge until ready to serve!