The weather here in Australia has been picking up recently. This is without a doubt the best time of year here. I have been in Melbourne for 9 years now so have climatised to the point where Winters are really cold, but, the Summer is still hot enough to melt your nipples off and not in a good way (is there a good way??). So Spring…. Spring is the winner!
With the hotter Weather comes a desire to eat colder foods, even salads (no, seriously!!) and although the produce is getting much better, it is still not Summer enough to have the pick of the crop, so you have to use a hybrid of the best of what is on offer and take advantage of good quality jarred goods. Therefore, the beauty of this dish is it can really be eaten 365 days a year, just tweak some of the veg.
So I decided to make a cold rice Mediterranean salad. Just look at the photo. This is SOOOO good. And ridiculously easy. The only time consuming thing is the rice. You have to boil it for half an hour and then chuck it in the fridge until it is cold. At leats an hour. Rice can grow bacteria quicker than Usain Bolt doing the 100 so don’t piss about, get it in the fridge as soon as it is ready.
I have gone with cannellini beans here, the Mediterranean must haves – olives and sun-dried tomatoes, some fresh cherry tomatoes, Peppers, herbs and a great dressing. Finally, of course, it wouldn’t be a salad without some lettuce leaves so get some of them into ya too.
Have a go, Summer is coming. We need beach bodies!
- 2 cups (dried weight) brown rice, cooked and chilled for at least an hour
- 2 400g cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 8 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
- 10 pitted olives, halved
- 12 cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 1 red pepper (capsicum), chopped
- small handful parsley, chopped
- 4 big handfuls assorted salad leaves or 1 bag of prepacked leaves
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- salt and pepper
- Start by preparing your rice. Once has been simmer for 25-30 minutes, refrigerate it for at least an hour. Check your package instructions to make sure your rice is not cooked differently
- Whilst the rice is chilling like The Fonz, chop up all your veg and herbs
- Now make the dressing. In a bowl, add the oil and then vinegar and mustard. Stir big time until it emulsifies (a poncy word meaning liquids that don’t normally like each other, but when forced to, mix together nicely – kind of like your birds mates). Drop a couple of drips of water into the bowl to loosen slightly and stir
- In a large bowl, add the beans, chopped veg, and herbs. Season with salt and pepper. Taste a bit and check the seasoning
- Now serve. Add the rice to a bowl, some salad leaves and the bean mixture. Drip ¼ of the dressing over the rice and beans and repeat for the other 3
- Enjoy. Drink some red wine. This is the Mediterranean after all
Phil Collins “Face Value”
Firstly, apologies for missing the update on Sunday. This updates makes up for two though! Haha. I was at a UFC event all day (hey, don’t judge, it is my goal on life to break the HORRIBLE hippy vegan stereotype, Mac Danzig is the man!). Whilst there, one of the guys walked out to probably the worst UFC walk out song I can think off “In the Air Tonight” by Phil Collins.
TERRIBLE walk out song for UFC but a GREAT song. I love Phil. If you don’t like it, then just move along, or I will choke you out!
Phil has recently come out of retirement and I think this is amazing news for humanity.
Listen – but do yourself a favour and buy it on vinyl!!