IMG_5294This tangy and refreshing rice salad is a perfect way to welcome spring. Simple to assemble and served at room temperature, this dish will be wonderful at your next lunch or afternoon picnic. I used white basmati rice for this version but I am sure brown rice or even quinoa would also be delicious with this recipe. Maybe even a little fresh mint?


Serves 4

1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 3/4 cups water
1 cup organic white basmati rice or organic short grain brown rice
2 large Cara Cara oranges
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 medium fennel bulb with fronds
3 large scallions, thinly sliced
sea salt
fresh cracked pepper

Toast fennel seeds in a heavy medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add water and 3/4 teaspoon salt and bring to a boil. Add rice and return to a boil, then cook, covered, over low heat until water is absorbed and rice is tender, 18-20 minutes. Spread rice out on a shallow baking sheet and let cool uncovered.
IMG_5288Meanwhile grate the zest from 2 oranges into a large bowl and squeeze the juice from 1 1/2 oranges. Whisk in white wine vinegar, olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper. Set aside.
IMG_5292Chop 2 tablespoons fronds from fennel, then discard stalks. Half the fennel bulb and thinly slice on a mandoline. If you don’t have a mandoline, thinly slice with a knife.
IMG_5293Add the sliced fennel and chopped fennel fronds to the bowl of dressing. Mix to coat.

Add the cooled rice and scallions. Stir to combine. Taste. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Adapted from Epicurious.