Cashew Rice Salad in Cabbage Cups

One of the highlights of my internship so far has certainly been the opportunity to participate in a Permaculture Design Course held on the farm. 8 days jam-packed with learning, inspiration, and amazing conversations with other incredibly knowledgeable, visionary, and passionate people. And an abundance of scrumptuous food awaiting us downstairs. Turns out my boss is a talented cook and marvelous hostess. The most stand-out dish in my opinion was a brightly flavored rice salad. Excited to have the recipe and prepare it again soon!

The original recipe was rather involved, with a long list of ingredients I didn’t have. I simplified the recipe significantly, and substituted out a few of the ingredients. Still exceptionally delicious! Sesame oil and fresh ginger are a magical combination.

UPDATE (3/11/15): Made this again, replacing the edamame with cubes of extra-firm tofu (marinated in tamari, a splash of rice vinegar, and a 1/2 teaspoon of horseradish, then crisped in a pan) and swapping in cool weather alternatives like cabbage and mint for the summer veggies and herbs (bell pepper, cilantro, and basil). Inspired once again by Dishing up the Dirt, I carefully pulled off the largest outer leaves of the cabbage and used them as “cabbage cups”. Took the meal up a notch, and fun to be able to wrap up the last few morsels in the leaf and eat the whole thing. Makes dishwashing a breeze! It was admittedly harder than it sounded to peel off the leaves from the very tight head of savoy cabbage we got from the farm. I suspect it would be easier with a standard cabbage. But I can’t complain, since the torn leaves became such a delicacy in this dish. Big hit with the whole family!

CabbageBowlCashewRiceSalad

Cashew Rice Salad

1 1/2 to 2 cups brown rice

1 cup shelled edamame (optional)

Finely sliced green onion or green garlic

1 carrot, grated (optional)

Chopped red pepper (optional)

Finely chopped savoy cabbage (optional)

1 cup toasted cashews (or sunflower seeds)

1 tablespoon chopped cilantro (optional)

Dressing

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

3 tablespoons tamari

1-2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger

1/8 cup oil

1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

Juice from one lime or half of a lemon

Chopped basil or mint

Cook rice, then spread onto a sheet pan and fluff with a fork. This keeps it from turning into sticky clumps. Set aside to cool. Meanwhile, chop and marinate tofu or blanch edamame in lightly salted water for a minute, if using. Chop and grate the vegetables and whisk together the dressing. Sauté green onion or garlic for a few minutes over medium heat until softens and turns fragrant, then add cabbage or pepper and cook for a few minutes more, just until soften slightly. Alternately, you can simply add them raw to the salad. Combine together the rice and vegetables and toss with the dressing. Then stir in the edamame or tofu and cashews (reserving a few for garnish). Spoon into cabbage leaves or directly into bowls, top with remaining cashews and chopped cilantro, if desired, and enjoy!

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