Red Rice, Cherry, Baby Spinach, and Hazelnut Salad
This colorful summer salad is hearty, fresh, and filled with textures, and combines salty and sweet just right. Great on its own or served with red meat.
This post contains affiliate links. Full disclosure is at the bottom of the article.
If I had to choose one summer salad to serve for the rest of my life, this red rice, cherry, baby spinach, and hazelnut salad would be it. It’s colorful, fresh, and filled with textures. It combines salty and sweet just right. It’s hearty enough to be served as a light lunch, but it’s also the perfect side to grilled flank steak (the leftover dressing makes a lovely sauce for the steak, too!). It’s elegant enough to serve to company, but quick enough to make on a weeknight. Simply put, you need to make it. Now.
In a large bowl, combine the warm rice, spinach, and most of the hazelnuts. Toss until the spinach wilts a bit.
Make the cherry vinaigrette: In the jar of a blender, add a third of the cherries along with the olive oil, white balsamic or white wine vinegar, and ¼ teaspoon [2.5 ml] fleur de sel. Blend until smooth. (You can also make the vinaigrette using a stick blender.) Add a generous splash of the dressing to the salad.
Stir the remaining cherries into the rice. Taste and add more fleur de sel, if needed. Turn the salad onto a large serving dish and garnish with the remaining hazelnuts. Add fresh basil leaves and goat's cheese, to taste. Serve immediately.
MAKE IT DAIRY-FREE & VEGAN: Omit the Goat's Cheese garnish.
Recipe Credit: Adapted from Heidi Swanson, Super Natural Every Day.
Red rice is a great choice for this salad because it's a healthy whole grain choice and it has a lovely nutty taste that is just the perfect backbone to this dish. You can substitute brown rice.
How to Toast and Peel Hazelnuts: Place the hazelnuts on a baking tray covered with parchment or aluminum paper, and bake at 350°F [170°C] for 15 minutes, giving the tray a good shake every five minutes. When the hazelnuts’ skin is shiny and crackled, remove from the oven and transfer to a clean dish towel. Close the towel up into a bundle and rub the hazelnuts against one another vigorously to remove the skin. Open the towel and pickup the peeled hazelnuts. Some bits of skin will remain but that’s ok! Keep the peeled hazelnuts in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to use.
Did you make this?
Tell me how you liked it! Leave a comment or take a picture and tag it with @foodnouveau on Instagram.
Disclosure Notice: This site is a participant in the Amazon Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for the site to earn fees by linking to Amazon and affiliated sites.
If you click on an affiliate link, I may earn advertising or referral fees if you make a purchase through such links, at no extra cost to you. This helps me creating new content for the blog–so thank you! Learn more about advertising on this site by reading my Disclosure Policy.