Pumpkin and Red Rice Salad

This Italian-inspired salad from The Happy Pear is bursting with the sweet flavours of roast veg, fresh tomato, and aromatic herbs.

Introduction

We love hearty, substantial salads of beans, grains and cooked veg. They are usually served cold and walk the line between a salad and a side dish, but they can also be a meal in and of themselves.

Ingredients

250g cooked red rice (or cooked brown rice)
1 × 400g tin butter beans
3 ripe tomatoes chopped into bitesize pieces
A handful of pickled red onions
150g roasted unpeeled pumpkin, cut into wedges
50ml olive oil
2 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp maple syrup
100g rocket
1 small bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
pinch of salt
50g toasted pine nuts

Instructions

1. When cooking your rice, make sure to add some salt as you cook it. That way the salt cooks into the grain as opposed to if you season it later, when it simply sits on the surface. If you're using brown rice instead and add 2 tablespoons of sweet paprika and 1 teaspoon of oil to it. 

2. Drain and rinse the beans. Finely chop the fresh parsley, including the stalks.

4. To make the dressing whisk or blend the olive oil, vinegar, soy sauce or tamari, and maple syrup together.

5. Now think about presentation. In a large serving bowl, start with the cooked rice, then add the beans, tomatoes, and pickled red onions. Drizzle over the dressing, then add the cooked veg, rocket and herbs and gently mix through. Season with the salt, dried oregano and dried thyme, then taste and adjust if needed. Finally, scatter over the toasted pine nuts.

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