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 holds up well, and can provide delicious lunches for the week when made in advance. The flavors of rice vinegar, sesame oil, honey, garlic, ginger, and of course, charred scallions, come together quickly for a unique and delicious dressing.
Soak the Rice
If you soak the brown rice overnight, it cooks in half the time. The hardest part about this step is remembering to put it in a bowl with some water! I like to cook brown rice for salads like I do pasta, by boiling a pot of water first, and adding the soaked and drained rice once the water is boiling. I add cardamom pods and star anise to the pot while the rice is cooking for some extra flavor. The method of adding rice to boiling water yields a rice that is less stuck together, which I prefer for salads.
Make a Double Batch
Make a double batch of the vinaigrette in your high-powered blender to have on hand to add some “oomph” to other items, such as roasted and steamed vegetables or other salads. This vinaigrette keeps for up to a week in the refrigerator, just be sure to label it so you remember what it is!
A simple main course salad.
- 1 cup short grain brown rice, soaked overnight, drained and rinsed*
- 2 cardamom pods, cracked
- 1 star anise
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 inch piece ginger
- 1 bunch scallions
- 2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon honey
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2 carrots
- small handful cilantro leaves
- 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.
Smash and peel garlic. Peel and roughly chop ginger.
Cut apart scallion tops (dark green) from scallion bottoms (white and light green). Put green scallion tops over a hot grill or gas flame on the stove top for 15-20 seconds. Watch them carefully, they will burn like paper! Remove from heat. Set aside white and light green part of scallion.
Combine charred scallion tops, rice vinegar, oils, honey, salt, garlic, and ginger in a blender. Blend until smooth.
Shred or cut carrots into julienne. Roughly chop cilantro. Slice white and light green part of scallions.
Pour scallion vinaigrette over still warm cooked brown rice in bowl. Add carrot, cilantro, and white part of scallions. 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.