A few weeks ago I ordered Super Natural Everyday from Amazon. I was already a fan of Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Cooking, and her blog 101 Cookbooks so was excited to see what recipes would be included in her latest offering.

Her recipes are all vegetarian and many are vegan or are easy to veganise if you wish. As soon as I saw the recipe for the Wholegrain Rice Salad I knew it would be on my ‘to make’ list. The recipes introduction states: ‘cherries don’t have a season, they have a moment’ and as that moment is now I didn’t waste anytime in making my own version of that recipe!

This salad is a great way to use some sweet cherries that are currently ‘having their moment’. I’m a lover of fruit in things like salads instead of the usual desserts and this is a great example of that. Even if you don’t make the actual salad give the dressing a try, you won’t be disappointed!

Photo 17-06-2012 17 49 07

Cherry and Brown Rice Salad (vegan, makes 2 servings, adapted from Wholegrain Rice Salad recipe in Super Natural Everyday)

  • 1 cup of fresh cherries, pitted and halved
  • 1/2 cup of brown rice (wild rice or a brown and wild mix would be extra tasty too)
  • 2 cups of baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup of walnuts
  • 2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil or hemp oil
  • 1/2 cup basil

Start by rinsing your rice and cooking in twice as much lightly salted water until fluffy and tender. While the rice is cooking make the dressing by blending about 3/4 of the pitted cherries with the vinegar and the oil until smooth. Taste the dressing and add a pinch of salt if needed. Once the dressing is made, toast your walnuts (if desired) in a hot pan and finely chop the basil. When the rice is cooked toss it with the spinach so that it wilts. Add the remaining cherries, walnuts and the dressing (you might have some dressing leftover) and sprinkle with the chopped basil. Serve warm or leave to cool in the fridge.

Photo 17-06-2012 17 51 02

This makes a lovely side dish, I had some with tofu and broccoli:

Photo 17-06-2012 18 01 33

Photo 17-06-2012 17 58 33

If you wanted to make it a meal in itself, you could add some protein in the form of beans or tofu directly into the mix – a tofu feta, or vegetarian feta, as in the original recipe would be delicious too.

Photo 17-06-2012 17 50 57

The dressing on its own is fantastic as well, I had some with a basic leafy green salad and it added a wonderful sweet and sharp flavour.

A great way to use up those cherries indeed! How have you been enjoying your cherries?