I just love this easy to make rice salad inspired by this one from Forks Over Knives. The fresh citrus vinaigrette brings warmer days to mind and the parsley refreshes you while the rice and chickpeas nourish you.
I found the dressing in the original recipe to be unexciting so I’ve livened it up with a little cayenne and cumin. Add some honey if you’d like a sweeter dressing.
The original recipe calls for fennel and if you can find it USE IT. If you can’t find it don’t despair, use a red or other sweet onion. Make sure to buy fresh parsley and feel free to use more than the 1/2 cup called for in the recipe. I would have used more if I had some.
If you menu plan, make sure to cook extra rice earlier in the week so it will be available to you when you want to make this salad. It’s a salad, so if you don’t have 3 cups of cooked rice leftover, use what you have and adjust the amount of dressing.
- 1 1/2 cups uncooked rice, any kind you like (±3 cups cooked)
- 2 cups cooked chickpeas (15 ounce can drained and rinsed)
- 1 fennel bulb, chopped into small pieces (and/or 1/2 a medium red onion, diced)
- 1 orange, zested and supremed; reserve the juice and the zest
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
- pinch cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- salt and pepper to taste
- Cook the rice if not using leftovers.
- Zest the orange over a shallow plate or bowl. Then, using a sharp knife, cut the peel away from the fruit. Get as much of the white pith as you can.
- Hold the naked orange over the same bowl and use the knife to cut the orange segments away from the membrane. Let the segments fall into the bowl.
- Remove the orange segments and cut them into small pieces. Place them into a large mixing bowl along with the fennel, onions and parsley.
- Measure the juice and zest. Add vinegar to make 1/4 cup.
- Mix up the vinaigrette by combining the olive oil with the zest and reserved orange juice along with the cayenne and cumin.
- Add the rice to the oranges and parsley. Mix well with the vinaigrette. (I didn’t use it all and served the remainder on the side. I poured what was left over the leftovers before storing them.)
- Enjoy the salad on its own or as a side. It would be great with salmon or fried tofu.