Brown Rice Salad Recipe with Charred Scallion Vinaigrette
This brown rice salad recipe with charred scallion vinaigrette is an easy to make main course salad. It also holds up well, and makes delicious lunches for the week. The flavors of rice vinegar, sesame oil, honey, garlic, ginger, and of course, charred scallions, all come together quickly in a high-powered blender.
Soak the Rice
Soaking the brown rice overnight, it cooks in half the time. It’s a simple step really, the hardest part being remembering to put it in a bowl with some water! I like to cook brown rice for salads like pasta, by boiling a pot of water first. For this recipe I add cardamom pods and star anise for some extra flavor. Once the water is boiling, I add the pre-soaked, drained and rinsed rice. This method of cooking yields a rice that is less sticky in its final cooked product, which I like for salads.
Charring the Scallions
Charring the scallion tops is really quite easy. Separate the dark green part of the scallions from the light green and white parts, and put over a grill for a few seconds, possibly up to a minute. Do this right when the grill is ready, before cooking anything else. The charring can be done directly over a gas flame on the stovetop too.
Make a Double Batch
Try making a double batch of the vinaigrette to try on other items, such as roasted and steamed vegetables, grilled meats, and other salads. The charred scallion vinaigrette keeps for up to a week in the refrigerator, just be sure to label it so you remember what it is!
- 1 cup short grain brown rice, soaked overnight, drained and rinsed*
- 2 cardamom pods, cracked
- 1 star anise
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 bunch scallions, white and light green part separated from dark green part
- 2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons sesame oil, optional, or use more olive oil
- 1 teaspoon honey
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 garlic clove, smashed and peeled
- 1- inch piece of ginger, roughly chopped
- White part from 1 bunch scallions, chopped
- ½ cup shredded or julienned carrot
- ½ cup chopped cilantro
- Sesame seeds for garnish
- Hard-Boiled Eggs, cut in half or quarters
Bring 6 cups of water to a boil over high heat. Add cardamom, star anise, and salt. Boil rice, uncovered, for 25 minutes, until al dente. Drain and discard cardamom pod and star anise. Put rice in a large bowl.
For Charred Scallion Vinaigrette:
Put green scallion tops over a hot grill or gas flame on the stovetop for 15-20 seconds. Watch them carefully, they will burn like paper! Remove from heat.
Combine charred scallion tops, rice vinegar, oils, honey, salt, garlic, and ginger in a blender. Blend until smooth.
Pour scallion vinaigrette over still warm cooked brown rice in bowl. Add white part of scallions, carrot, cilantro. Toss to combine. Adjust flavor for salt, vinegar, and honey, adding more if needed. Garnish with sesame seeds and eggs.
The rice is soaked for shorter cooking time. If the rice isn’t soaked, cooking time will be 35-40 minutes.