Brown Rice Salad with Blueberries, Mint and Toasted Pecans

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!

Brown Rice Salad with Blueberries, Mint and Toasted Pecans | Simply Fresh Dinners

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?

Peppercorn Steak Crostini with Blueberry Balsamic Sauce | Simply Fresh Dinners

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!

Brown Rice Salad with Blueberries, Mint and Toasted Pecans | Simply Fresh Dinners

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!

Brown Rice Salad with Blueberries, Mint and Toasted Pecans
Recipe Type: Salad, Lunch
Author: Robyn Gleason
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
A salad that celebrates the flavors of blueberries and balsamic vinegar and incorporates a variety of elements like pecans, scallions, lentils and quinoa to boost the taste explosion!
Ingredients
  • 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
Instructions
  1. Prepare rice blend according to package directions; letting it drain well while you prepare the remaining ingredients.
  2. 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.
  3. Place rice blend and blueberry mixture in large bowl. Add pecans, scallions, mint, salt and pepper; toss to combine. Serve immediately
  4. OPTIONS:
  5. roasted corn, almonds, parsley, goat cheese
Calories: 334 Fat: 14 g Saturated fat: 1 g Carbohydrates: 53 g Fiber: 6 g Protein: 5.5 g

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A salad full of surprises - blueberries, toasted pecans, barley, green lentils and red quinoa - from Simply Fresh Dinners!

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24 Comments

  • Reply
    Anita Rivera
    August 1, 2016 at 4:01 pm

    Oh oh….YUMMAROONY! I love blueberries, brown rice, nuts, all of the above! YES YES YES! I can’t wait to talk tomorrow!

  • Reply
    Karen @ Seasonal Cravings
    August 1, 2016 at 4:07 pm

    Yum! Love dressings with maple syrup and this all looks like a yummy flavor combo. And can easily be gluten free. Yes!
    Karen @ Seasonal Cravings recently posted…Five Ingredient Gluten Free BrowniesMy Profile

  • Reply
    Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine
    August 1, 2016 at 4:49 pm

    O yes, yes, yes! I love making blueberry balsamic glazes actually! So good (on chicken!!)
    Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine recently posted…Rhubarb Orange Quick BreadMy Profile

    • Reply
      Robyn
      August 1, 2016 at 5:14 pm

      Oh, I just remembered that I made one for a salmon a few years ago, Rebecca. The pics were a disaster but the dish was delectable, lol.

  • Reply
    Mindy
    August 1, 2016 at 5:24 pm

    Yummy AND it fits in with my 30 day vegan challenge I started today! Your timing is perfect πŸ™‚
    Mindy recently posted…Giving Thanks FridayMy Profile

    • Reply
      Robyn
      August 2, 2016 at 5:32 am

      Oh, you’re going vegan! Great idea, Mindy, I’ll be looking forward to hearing about it. I hope you keep a journal about it for your blog. I have a feeling you will notice an amazing difference in how you feel. Good luck!

  • Reply
    sue|theviewfromgreatisland
    August 1, 2016 at 5:37 pm

    I’ve been neglecting brown rice lately, this is great inspiration to cook some up, I love the nutty flavor!
    sue|theviewfromgreatisland recently posted…Salmon and Zucchini BurgersMy Profile

  • Reply
    Jennifer @ Seasons and Suppers
    August 2, 2016 at 7:37 am

    What a lovely salad and love the use of brown rice! My daughter loves brown rice and would be all over this salad. Great combination of flavours πŸ™‚
    Jennifer @ Seasons and Suppers recently posted…Peach Melba SconesMy Profile

  • Reply
    Tricia @ Saving room for dessert
    August 2, 2016 at 8:33 am

    What a wonderful combination! I have never thought to add balsamic to brown rice and the nuts and blueberries too! This is a must try in our house! Thanks Robyn. Sharing and pinning
    Tricia @ Saving room for dessert recently posted…Coconut Pineapple PopsiclesMy Profile

  • Reply
    Katherine | Omnivore's Cookbook
    August 2, 2016 at 12:24 pm

    Lovely photos and recipe as always!
    Katherine | Omnivore’s Cookbook recently posted…Real Deal Sesame NoodlesMy Profile

  • Reply
    Blair @ The Seasoned Mom
    August 2, 2016 at 12:37 pm

    I have a blueberry-infused balsamic vinegar that I got for Christmas and it’s absolute HEAVEN on a salad. Slightly sweet, thick, and oh-so-good! I bet it tastes a lot like your blueberry, maple, and vinegar combo.

    This salad is so fresh and so pretty, Robyn! Love it!
    Blair @ The Seasoned Mom recently posted…Cheddar Crusted Chicken and Broccoli CasseroleMy Profile

  • Reply
    Geraldine | Green Valley Kitchen
    August 2, 2016 at 2:14 pm

    I love this, Robyn – it looks so fresh and summery – perfect salad at the end of the day with a glass of cold white wine!
    Geraldine | Green Valley Kitchen recently posted…Greek SaladMy Profile

    • Reply
      Robyn
      August 4, 2016 at 7:00 pm

      Thanks so much, Geraldine! I like a glass of wine with just about anything at the end of the day, lol. Can you believe it’s August already!?

  • Reply
    Chris Scheuer
    August 2, 2016 at 8:55 pm

    This has everything I love in one dish. I feel healthier just looking at it but I know the flavors are wonderful!

  • Reply
    John/Kitchen Riffs
    August 3, 2016 at 11:28 am

    Oh, yum! Really nifty combo of ingredients — neat flavors, nice textures. Goat cheese would be lovely. Thanks for this.
    John/Kitchen Riffs recently posted…The Vicious Virgin CocktailMy Profile

  • Reply
    GiGi Eats
    August 4, 2016 at 7:55 pm

    WHATTT???!! This sounds soooo weird to me, but kinda awesome at the same time. It’s sad I cannot eat any of these ingredients but I can imagine the flavor combo they create! When I was younger, I was so picky, so I only liked separate foods! STUPID ME!
    GiGi Eats recently posted…THIS RECIPE WILL SHUT UP ALL POLITICAL RANTSMy Profile

    • Reply
      Robyn
      August 4, 2016 at 8:41 pm

      LOL, I think from the first time you ever commented on my blog you have made me laugh, GiGi! I’m happy for you that you can deal with your food challenges with a sense of humour. You rock the food world, girl!

  • Reply
    Gabrielle
    August 6, 2016 at 8:43 am

    This looks so good. Excuse me while I run to he grocery store! I think I only need blueberries and pecans. lol Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply
      Robyn
      August 6, 2016 at 6:05 pm

      LOL, you’re halfway there, Garielle. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Reply
    Marla
    August 6, 2016 at 2:16 pm

    Hi Robyn,
    Yum! This looks so tasty and colorful. What a wonderful summertime salad that sounds delicious and healthy. I always look forward to your recipes – they are always so wonderful. . Thank you for sharing on Real Food Fridays. Pinned & tweeted!
    Marla recently posted…β€œSelecting the Right Doors for a Truly Energy Efficient Home!”My Profile

  • Reply
    Bam's Kitchen
    August 8, 2016 at 6:40 am

    Now this is one delicious hearty salad. It would be great to bring to work or school lunches too. or even great for a summer picnic. Miss you dearly!

  • Reply
    Mimi
    August 8, 2016 at 8:43 am

    That is one gorgeous salad. Love salads with grains. But I don’t think I’ve ever added blueberries! Brilliant!

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