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Thursday, July 19, 2012 - Page updated at 05:31 p.m.

Recipe: Brown Rice Salad with Apples, Walnuts and Cherries

By Leela Cyd Ross

Need a vegetarian recipe to bring to a picnic or barbecue? This brown-rice salad is full of tasty bits of treasure. It's also quick to assemble, and you can riff off the recipe with items you happen to have in your pantry.

Summer is the time to step up your quick, healthy, substantial salad repertoire. This salad is simple and delicious, and it gets better after sitting in the refrigerator overnight. If you like your grains tempered with a lot of add-ins, you'll love what this offers: It's rich with buttery walnut chunks, sweet with the fresh apple and dried cherries, and a touch edgy with the piquant chives. You could add cheese, but why bother altering the fresh, healthy feeling of this dish? It's great for vegan and vegetarian friends — it's a grain salad everyone will love.

Brown Rice Salad with Apples, Walnuts and Cherries

Makes 6 to 8 servings

1 cup brown rice

3/4 cup frozen peas

1 apple, diced into 1/2 inch pieces

1/4 cup dried cherries, roughly chopped

1/3 cup walnuts, roughly chopped

1 bunch of chives, finely chopped


2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon agave syrup

1 teaspoon yellow miso paste

2 tablespoons canola oil

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

4 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

1. Cook the brown rice in about two cups of simmering water until tender, or according to package directions. Fluff and cool to room temperature.

2. Microwave the frozen peas for 1 minute to thaw. Combine the peas, apple, cherries, walnuts, chives and cooled rice in a large bowl. Whisk together the ingredients for the dressing. Stir the dressing into the rice mix until all the ingredients are coated. Garnish with extra chives and sesame seeds. If you have time, allow the salad to rest, covered, in the refrigerator for at least eight hours or overnight for flavors to come together.

Leela Cyd Ross is a writer for, a nationally known blog for people who love food and home cooking. Submit any comments or questions to



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