Red Rice Salad with Cumin Dressing

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Yields 5 Cups : Serves 4 – 6

Several varieties of red heirloom rice are available in large grocery stores today, but if you can’t get your hands on it, substitute short or long grain brown rice. My favorite variety of red rice thus far is called Bhutanese Red Rice by Lotus Foods. The color and texture are lovely.

Dressing Ingredients:
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp raw honey*
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp fresh cracked pepper

Salad Ingredients:
3 cups cooked red rice**
1/2 cup coarsely chopped soaked walnuts
1/4 cup soaked sunflower seeds
1/2 cup dried blueberries***
2 stalks celery, diced (approx 3/4 cup)
1/3 cup thinly sliced scallions****
2 Tbsp chopped fresh mint

In a small bowl, combine all ingredients for the dressing. Whisk and set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients for the dressing. Toss gently with a spatula. Drizzle dressing over the salad. Re-toss gently with the same spatula.

Preferably chill for at least 1 hour and serve.

* Regular store-bought honey has been pasteurized, which means it has been heated and strained to obtain a clear product that is easier to pour. Unfortunately, many of nature’s beneficial enzymes get lost in the process. Raw honey still contains all of those valuable enzymes. If raw honey can’t be found, regular honey may be substituted in equal measurements.

** Cook rice according to package directions, except, bring water to a boil first before adding the rice, then proceed to cover and simmer for the instructed time. Boiling water prior to adding grain helps to prevent mushy rice, which is not the desired texture for a salad. One cup of dry rice will produce three cups of cooked rice.

*** If dried blueberries can’t be found, substitute currants, raisins or dried cranberries in equal measurements.

**** Slice into thin rounds using both the white and green parts of the onion.


  • Beth

    Did you soak the red rice before you pre-cooked it? I think I’ll do that today and make this tomorrow. Looks like it has unbelievable flavors mingling together: lemon, cumin, nutmeg, blueberry, mint and more… wow! Maybe I’ll pop some frozen blueberries into the dehydrator today too!

    August 28, 2011
    • Molly Chester

      I have soaked before, and it works just fine b/c the red rice is a rather sturdy grain, so it doesn’t get too mushy.

      September 14, 2011
  • Garett

    This was a huge hit at my potluck. I didn’t have celery or sunflower seeds so I subbed in snap peas and pepitas. SUPER DELICIOUS – thanks!

    February 6, 2015

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