This is not your ordinary brown rice salad, folks, this has blueberries, toasted pecans, barley, green lentils, red quinoa, scallions, mint and more! But how could I put all of that into the title? I had a heck of a time deciding what to call this but I think it sounds yummy, don’t you? Especially now that pressure cooker brown rice recipes are all the rage right now. You’ve got to see what you’re missing out on!
In a roundabout way this salad was inspired by an appetizer I did last summer – Peppercorn Steak Crostini with Blueberry Balsamic Sauce. Remember this little tasty bite?
While creating this I discovered that I absolutely love the combination of balsamic vinegar, blueberries and a touch of pure maple syrup. I definitely needed to do something with them again. The balsamic vinegar and maple syrup penetrate the blueberries perfectly and melds together to create a sweet, fruity, tart taste that is truly memorable. You can see how dark the berries get and when I was sauteing them it was all I could do not to gobble them up!
I think some goat cheese would be delightful in this as well. You could also use almonds instead of pecans, parsley instead of mint and how about some roasted corn in there? This is a recipe that gives you the bones and you can make it your own. It’s a great side dish for any BBQ feast. You don’t even have to tell people you saw it here first!
I’d love to know what your favorite dish is this summer. Is there one recipe that your family asks for over and over again? Take a shot next time and share it with me on Instagram at #simplyfreshdinners. You know I love hearing about what you’re making. I’m nosy like that! Cheers!
- 1 package (8 ounces) brown rice with barley, green lentil and red quinoa blend. (you can choose any blend that you prefer. Wild rice would be fantastic!)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup blueberries
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon pure maple syrup
- 3/4 cup toasted pecans, chopped
- 1/4 cup scallions, both chopped and thinly sliced lengthwise (purely for aesthetic purposes so skip this if you prefer)
- 4 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
- pinch of sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Prepare rice blend according to package directions; letting it drain well while you prepare the remaining ingredients.
- In a small skillet, heat oil on medium heat. Add garlic; cook and stir 2 minutes. Add blueberries, vinegar and maple syrup and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently but gently so as not to crush the berries.
- Place rice blend and blueberry mixture in large bowl. Add pecans, scallions, mint, salt and pepper; toss to combine. Serve immediately
- roasted corn, almonds, parsley, goat cheese