Was flipping through a (sort of) recent Bon Appetit issue the other day (January 2015) and came across a recipe that looked tempting. With the ‘warm’ weather — I’m talking upper 50s and sunny after 8″ of snow last week — it was just far too appealing. It’s essentially a no-cook recipe, which was a bit off for a January recipe.
Red Rice Salad with Pecans, Fennel, and Herbs
1 cup red rice (I used the priceless Trader Joe’s microwave rice)
1 small fennel bulb, very thinly sliced
1/4 medium red onion, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice, divided
2/3 cup pecans, divided
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup cilantro leaves and finely chopped tender stems
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
Toasted pistachio oil or almond oil (for serving; optional)
Cook rice according to package directions. Spread out on a rimmed baking sheet; let cool.
Meanwhile, toss fennel and onion with 2 tablespoons lime juice in a large bowl and let sit, tossing occasionally, until lime juice is almost entirely absorbed, 10-15 minutes.
So at this point, since it had to be thinly sliced, it was time to pull out the V-slicer/mandolin. Had such a great time!
Coarsely chop 1/3 cup pecans; finely chop remaining nuts. Laziness here, bought them that way — and, a heck of a lot cheaper for some reason. Cook in olive oil in a small saucepan over medium-low until golden brown, 5-10 minutes. Let cool.
Add rice and pecans to fennel mixture along with remaining 1 tablespoon lime juice and toss to combine. Gently fold in cilantro; season with salt and pepper. Serve drizzled with pistachio oil, if desired.
*Do ahead: Rice salad (without cilantro) can be chilled up to 1 day. Bring to room temperature before serving.
This salad was mouthwatering. I did not expect it to be this good. Wow. It could also easily be made with quinoa and/or another nuts. Will be a perfect summer recipe. Wow, delicious.