This is a Tuscan-inspired wild rice salad, with sun-blushed tomatoes, black olives, fresh basil and caramelised balsamic onions. The salty sweet elements are really satisfying, and this is perfect for a refreshing lunch in the sunshine (or whilst dreaming of sunnier days).
Firstly, you need to get your wild rice on to cook. Wash thoroughly with cold water, then cover with fresh water and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20-40 minutes, depending on the instructions on your variety of wild rice (these can really vary so read the labels). Once cooked, drain and leave to one side.
Whilst the rice is cooking you can start to cook your balsamic onions. Peel and slice the onion finely, then add to a good non-stick pan with 3 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar and 2 tablespoons of brown sugar. Cook on a medium heat for 10-15 minutes until gently bubbling, slightly thick and sticky-looking. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.
In a large mixing bowl, add the cooked rice, the cooled balsamic onions (including any saucy bits), the pitted black olives (dried olives have a much better flavour), tomatoes, finely shredded basil and spinach leaves, as well as the oregano and pine nuts. Add a final tablespoon of both olive oil and balsamic vinegar, then stir well, to ensure all the rice is coated with flavourful goodness.
This serves 2 as a main dish with extra salad, but is ideal as a side at a dinner party for up to 4 people. Double the recipe for a bigger party or BBQ, as everyone will want seconds.Gluten Free
200g dried wild rice
1 large white onion, finely sliced
60ml (4 tablespoons) balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
80g pitted dried black olives, halved
120g sunblushed tomatoes, chopped
30g fresh basil leaves
60g spinach leaves
2 teaspoons dried oregano
50g pine nuts
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil