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Rice Medley Salad with Roasted Chickpeas

Rice Medley Salad with Roasted Chickpeas | the whinery

Rice Medley Salad with Fried Chickpeas | the whinery Warm Rice Medley Salad with Fried Chickpeas | the whinery

Just when I thought it was safe to switch my wardrobe over from winter to summer, we were plunged back into rainy grey days. There was a certain chill in the air yesterday that we hadn’t felt in weeks, but then there’s promise of brighter days ahead so I’m looking forward to that. And while we wait, we’d want to make cheerful meals and eat colourful spirit-lifting foods like this rice medley salad with roasted chickpeas.
The good news is, we’re getting our cooking mojo back, thanks to the small bounty of spring produce arriving at the markets. We managed to scrounge up a hurried but delicious meal this past weekend, which made me proud. We made roasted new potatoes and cauliflower with a sprinkle of cumin and curry powder, and made salsa with some good hothouse tomatoes we found to go with them.

Rice Medley Salad with Roasted Chickpeas | the whinery

Rice Medley Salad with Roasted Chickpeas | the whinery

Rice Medley Salad with Roasted Chickpeas | the whinery

Lately, I’m really into roasted cauliflower, I absolutely love it! When roasted, it gets all buttery and caramelized with a slightly sweet and intensified flavour. Cauliflower tends to be pricey, but thankfully I have a cheaper source. The farm we go to harvest theirs in late spring/early summer – I’ve been known to roast giant trays of cauliflower with a little garlic, lemon, salt a drizzle of olive oil and devoured it in a sitting – it’s the best thing ever!
This salad has quite a few things going for it, but adding roasted cauliflower to it elevates it to one of my favourite meals. Loaded with fiber, protein and vitamins, it’s incredibly satisfying, has an enjoyable crunch, and it’s nutty with overall heartiness. This substantial salad can be enjoyed warm or cold, leftovers make lunchtime enjoyable.

Rice Medley Salad with Roasted Chickpeas | the whinery

Rice Medley Salad with Roasted Chickpeas | the whinery Rice Medley Salad with Roasted Chickpeas | the whinery

There are flavourful crispy roasted chickpeas in there as well. A blend of three to four varieties of rice adds texture and heft. Tender and chewy massaged kale, bits of sun-dried tomatoes for punches of deep savouriness and a few other vegetables make for a wholesome meal on its own. A zesty and creamy sun-dried tomato and mustard vinaigrette finish it off perfectly.
Another secret to making this a spectacular salad is to season as you go, adding a pinch of salt and herbs at every stage of the process guarantees a well-seasoned salad. I used four varieties of rice – red rice, brown basmati, wild rice and very little black rice; rice blends that come prepackaged like this and this, will work wonderfully as well.

This is a highly adaptable salad; use the recipe as a guide, if you will, and use your favourite or in season vegetables and/or grains, quantities and measurements can be adjusted to suit your preference.

Rice Medley Salad with Roasted Chickpeas | the whinery

Rice Medley Salad with Roasted Chickpeas | the whinery

Rice Medley Salad with Roasted Chickpeas
A hearty substantial salad chock-full of flavourful healthful veggies and chickpea and an aromatic blend of rice
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For vinaigrette
  1. 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  2. 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  3. 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar
  4. 6 sun-dried tomato halves (drained if oil packed), or about 2 tablespoons
  5. 1 – 2 garlic cloves
  6. 1/4 – 1/2 cup warm water (or water from chickpeas if you cooked them yourself)
  7. Salt to taste
  8. Freshly ground black pepper
For roasted chickpeas
  1. 2 – 3 cups cooked chickpeas
  2. 1/2 teaspoon crushed garlic
  3. 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  4. 1/3 teaspoon fine sea salt (or to taste)
  5. 1 tablespoon olive oil
For roasted cauliflower
  1. 1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
  2. 1 small onion, chopped
  3. 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  4. 1 teaspoon cumin
  5. Salt to taste
For salad
  1. 1 small onion, chopped
  2. 1 – 2 cups chopped carrots
  3. 1 bunch kale (I used lacinato kale), massaged and finely chopped
  4. 2 tablespoons chopped sun-dried tomatoes
  5. 3 – 4 cups cooked rice blend (I used red, basmati, black and wild rice)
  6. Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Make vinaigrette
  1. In a blender or food processor, combine olive oil, mustard, vinegar, sun-dried tomatoes and garlic
  2. Blend until smooth, drizzle in warm water to thin until desired consistency is reached
  3. Taste and season accordingly with salt and freshly ground black pepper
  4. Dressing will keep in the fridge to up to a week
Roast chickpeas
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F., line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside
  2. Drain and rinse chickpeas (if using canned) and place them in a large bowl
  3. Add garlic, pepper (if using) and salt, and toss
  4. Add olive oil and toss to coat
  5. Spread chickpeas in an even layer on prepared baking sheet
  6. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes, until chickpeas are golden brown, stir once halfway through
  7. Roast Cauliflower
  8. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.,
  9. In a large rimmed, parchment-lined baking sheet, add cauliflower and onion
  10. Add garlic, pepper flakes and cumin, salt and olive oil and toss (with your hands) to combine
  11. Roast in oven for 20 – 25 minutes until cauliflower is tender and lightly browned
Assemble Salad
  1. In a large salad bowl, combine onion, carrots and kale
  2. Add sun-dried tomato, rice, chickpea and roasted cauliflower
  3. Toss gently, taste and season with more salt and pepper if desired
  4. Serve with vinaigrette and enjoy!
Notes
  1. Vinaigrette and chickpeas can be made in advance
  2. Roasted chickpeas will lose its crunchiness after a day or two, but will still be very good!
the Whinery by Elsa Brobbey https://elsbro.com/blog/

Rice Medley Salad with Roasted Chickpeas | the whinery

Rice Medley Salad with Roasted Chickpeas | the whinery

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