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Ottolenghi’s Rice Salad with Nuts and Sour Cherries

Sweet raisins, chopped almonds and sour cherries add some welcome texture to this simple rice salad. Serve as is as a satisfying meal on its own, or as a side to a larger spread.

From the book

Yotam Ottolenghi


Forgive me for all the pots and pans here. They are all left fairly clean so a good wipe with a tea towel between uses will save some washing up. The sour cherries have a welcome bite, which sweet raisins lack, so they are worth seeking out in larger shops. You could substitute chopped cranberries soaked in a little lemon juice, if need be. This salad makes a satisfying meal-in-a-bowl and will keep in the fridge for at least a day Just remember not to serve it cold and to adjust the seasoning before serving

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150g wild rice
220g basmati rice
80ml olive oil
100g quinoa
60g almonds, skins on, roughly chopped
60g pine nuts
60ml sunflower oil
2 medium (320g) onions, finely sliced
30g parsley, roughly chopped
20g basil, roughly chopped
10g tarragon, roughly chopped
40g rocket
80g dried sour cherries
60ml lemon juice, plus the grated zest of 1 lemon
2 garlic cloves, crushed
salt and black pepper


Place the wild rice in a medium saucepan, cover with plenty of water, bring to the boil and then reduce to a gentle simmer for 35 minutes until the rice is cooked but still firm. Drain, rinse under cold water and set aside to dry.

Mix the basmati rice with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and ½ teaspoon of salt. Place in a medium saucepan with 330ml of boiling water, cover and cook on the lowest possible heat for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat, place a tea towel over the pan, replace the lid and set aside for 10 minutes. Then uncover and allow to cool down completely.

Bring a small saucepan of water to the boil and add the quinoa. Cook for 9 minutes, then drain in a fine sieve, refresh under cold water and set aside.

Place the almonds and pine nuts in a small pan with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Cook on a medium-low heat for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Transfer to a small plate as soon as the pine nuts begin to colour, and set aside.

Heat the sunflower oil in a large frying pan and add the onions, along with ¼ teaspoon of salt and some black pepper. Cook on a high heat for 5-8 minutes, stirring often, so that parts of the onion get crisp and others just soft. Transfer to kitchen paper to drain.

Place all the grains in a large mixing bowl along with the chopped herbs and rocket, fried onion, nuts and sour cherries. Add the lemon juice, zest, remaining olive oil, garlic, ½ teaspoon of salt and some pepper. Mix well and set aside for at least 10 minutes before serving.

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