Greetings, Southern cuisine lovers! Today, I am ecstatic to share with you a recipe for one of my all-time favorites: Southern Red Rice and Pecan Salad. This salad recipe combines the punchy flavors of red rice with the rich, nutty taste of pecans, making it a real crowd-pleaser.
Nowadays, it can be hard to find time to make elaborate meals or spend hours in the kitchen prepping and cooking. But fret not, dear reader! This recipe is not only delicious but also straightforward and can be whipped up in 30 minutes.
If you are looking for a fresh twist on salad recipes, you have just found your perfect match. The South is known for its flavorful and comforting meals, and this one is no exception. The combination of textures and flavors will leave you wanting more.
Plus, this rice salad recipe can act as a tasty side dish or a quick lunch option that’s portable enough for meal prep. What’s more? It’s fully customizable to fit your taste preferences – add chicken or sausage for extra protein or swap some ingredients to suit your mood or whatever is sitting in your pantry!
Stick around as we dive into the intricacies of Southern Red Rice and Pecan Salad Recipe: from the ingredients list to the make-ahead tips and what pairs well with it!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Are you looking for the perfect side dish or salad recipe to complement your meals? Look no further than this Southern Red Rice and Pecan Salad. This recipe is a refreshing take on traditional rice dishes, packed with bold flavors, exciting textures and a delectable blend of spices that will leave your taste buds begging for more.
One of the things you’ll love about this recipe is that it’s incredibly versatile. It can be served hot or cold, making it a great option for year-round enjoyment. Pair it with grilled chicken or pork chops during summer barbecues or serve it chilled alongside roasted vegetables during colder months.
What makes this Southern-inspired dish so special is its unique ingredient list. From the red rice and wild rice to the dried cranberries and spiced pecans, each component is carefully chosen to create a complex, flavorful dish that will be sure to impress your guests.
Moreover, this recipe boasts a healthy nutritional profile loaded with antioxidants, fiber, healthy fats and an abundance of vitamins and minerals. The combination of vegetables like red bell pepper, celery and tomatoes with nuts like pecans provides a healthy dose of omega-3s, while avocado and blue cheese help reduce inflammation and promote healthy digestion.
In addition to its delicious taste and health benefits, Southern Red Rice and Pecan Salad is an easy-to-make dish that’s sure to become a staple in your recipe box. With detailed instructions on preparing the rice dressing and spiced pecans as well as tips on storing and reheating leftovers, you’ll have everything you need to wow your family and friends.
Overall, whether you’re looking for a delicious side dish or a hearty vegetarian main course, this Southern Red Rice and Pecan Salad has something for everyone. It’s time to gather your ingredients and get cooking!
Before we start cooking, let’s make sure that we have all the ingredients we need. This salad recipe calls for a variety of fresh vegetables and some spices to add an extra layer of flavor. Here is what you’ll need:
- 1 cup red rice or wild rice (uncooked)
- 1 cup long grain brown rice (uncooked)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups water
- ½ cup chopped pecans
- 1 small red onion, finely diced
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
- 1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 stalk celery, finely diced
- 2 medium-sized tomatoes, seeded and diced
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced (white and green parts)
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries or currants
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
As always, feel free to get creative with substitutions and variations! Just keep in mind that using a different type of rice may change the cooking time and outcome, so adjust accordingly.
The Recipe How-To
Now that you’ve got all the ingredients measured out and ready to go, let’s get started on creating this delicious Southern Red Rice and Pecan Salad.
Step 1: Cook the Rice
Start by cooking 2 cups of uncooked long-grain Brown Rice with 3 1/2 cups of water in a rice cooker. Once cooked, allow it to cool before transferring it to a mixing bowl.
Step 2: Toast the Pecans
Next, toast 1 cup of chopped pecans in a dry pan over low heat. Be sure to stir them frequently and remove from the heat as soon as they start to brown. Set them aside to cool.
Step 3: Add the Flavor
In a small bowl, whisk together 3 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar, and 1 teaspoon each of dried thyme and oregano. Add 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper for some extra spice. Pour this mixture over the cooled rice, then sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.
Step 4: Mix All Ingredients
Stir in 1/2 cup of thinly sliced scallions, 1 small finely diced red onion, 1 cup diced fresh tomatoes, 1/2 cup finely diced red bell pepper, and 1/2 cup finely diced celery. Then add in the toasted pecans along with 1/4 cup each of dried cranberries and raisins.
Step 5: Chill and Serve
Once everything is fully mixed together, cover the salad tightly and refrigerate for at least one hour or up to four hours if preferred. Just before serving, toss in 1 avocado, pitted and diced into small pieces, as well as a handful of freshly chopped parsley.
Step 6: Enjoy!
Southern Red Rice and Pecan Salad is a perfect side dish for your barbeque or potluck. It’s delicious to mix in some cooked chicken sausage or make a Pecan Chicken Salad sandwich. Remember to snap a picture and tag us in your creations!
Substitutions and Variations
Are you looking to shake things up in the kitchen and add a little twist to your classic southern red rice and pecan salad recipe? There are plenty of substitutions and variations that can help transform this dish in a variety of ways.
For starters, if you want a protein-packed version, try adding some sausage to the mix. Sausage goes great with rice and adds a rich and savory flavor that pairs well with the sweetness of the cranberries and pecans.
Looking for something on the healthier side? Swap out the white rice with wild rice or long-grain brown rice for added nutrition. Additionally, chopped avocado or diced tomatoes can serve as fresh toppings to boost the nutritional value of your meal.
If you’re looking to amp up the flavors of this dish even more, try mixing in some blue cheese or feta cheese. The sharp tanginess of these cheeses balances out the sweetness of the cranberries while adding a new layer of savory goodness.
Another variation option is to include warm tomato sauce in your salad. This makes it more like a rice pilaf! Still packed with plenty of vegetables that complement each other beautifully for easy digestion, and hints of spice from traditional southern favorites like cayenne pepper or dried thyme.
In addition, fennel salad is an amazing addition to the dish if you want an herbaceous flavor with notes of licorice. Thinly sliced fennel combined with fresh parsley, diced apples, dried currants or raisins and spiced pecans gives this dish a delicious crunch and brightens up your palate subtly.
Finally, don’t be afraid to experiment on your own! Try out different ingredient combinations based on what’s available in your pantry or what suits your tastes best. Remember, cooking is all about creativity!
Serving and Pairing
Well, howdy there! It’s time to dive into serving and pairing our Southern Red Rice and Pecan Salad Recipe. This dish is perfect as a side, but I won’t judge you if it becomes your main course every once in a while.
First off, this rice salad goes great with chicken salad or sausage dishes. The sweetness of the cranberries and pecans compliments the spiciness of the sausages beautifully. You could even try adding some diced sausage directly into the salad for an extra pop of flavor.
If you’re feeling adventurous, why not try serving it up with some arroz rojo? This fiery red rice adds an exciting kick to the dish and turns it into a whole new experience.
Another great pairing is a fennel salad with dried cranberries and blue cheese. The crunchiness of the fennel complements the texture of the pecans, while the blue cheese adds a tangy contrast to the sweetness of the cranberries. Just thinking about it makes my taste buds tingle!
Lastly, serve this salad alongside a tomato-based sauce or stew. Think giada tomato sauce or Bon Appétit’s classic bean and rice pilaf recipe. The savory tomato flavors combined with the nutty goodness of our rice salad create a winning combo that screams comfort food.
Now go on, whip up a batch of this Southern Red Rice and Pecan Salad Recipe and try these serving and pairing recommendations for yourself. Y’all won’t be disappointed!
Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating
The best part about this Southern Red Rice and Pecan Salad Recipe is that it can be made ahead of time, making it a perfect side dish for any gathering. To make-ahead, cook the rice mixture and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days.
When you are ready to serve, take the salad out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature. Drizzle some of the dressing on top and mix it well to coat all the ingredients. You can also add freshly diced tomatoes or chopped scallions for extra flavor and crunch.
For storing leftovers, transfer the salad into an airtight container and refrigerate for up to three days. The flavors will intensify as they sit, making the next day’s leftovers even more delicious. When reheating, place the salad in a saucepan over low heat and stir occasionally until heated through.
This recipe is versatile and can be customized to suit your taste buds. If you like spicy food, add some cayenne pepper or hot sauce to the dressing. You can also swap pecans with almonds or walnuts for a different nutty flavor.
Remember to use high-quality ingredients for optimal taste and texture. This recipe is perfect for meal prep or meal planning, making it ideal for busy weekdays or weekend gatherings.
In conclusion, this Southern Red Rice and Pecan Salad Recipe is not only delicious but also convenient for make-ahead meals and storing leftovers. It’s a perfect healthy side dish that pairs well with grilled chicken or baked fish. Try this recipe today and enjoy a nourishing meal that will tantalize your taste buds!
Tips for Perfect Results
When it comes to making the perfect Southern Red Rice and Pecan Salad, there are a few tips and tricks that can take your dish from good to great. As someone who has cooked this recipe many times, here are my recommendations to help you achieve perfect results every time.
One of the most important things to keep in mind is the texture of the rice. You want to make sure that each grain of rice is tender, but not too soft or mushy. To achieve this, be sure to follow the instructions for cooking the rice carefully, and don’t be tempted to overcook it.
Another key element of this dish is its seasoning. The combination of cayenne, thyme, and oregano gives it a flavorful kick that perfectly balances the sweetness of the dried cranberries and raisins. Be sure to taste as you go and adjust the seasoning as needed.
When it comes to the pecans, I highly recommend using roasted pecans for an extra crunch and depth of flavor. If you have time, try roasting them yourself by tossing them with a bit of olive oil and salt, then baking them in the oven until they’re golden brown.
Finally, don’t forget about presentation! A dish that looks visually appealing will enhance your guests’ experience before they even taste it. One way to elevate your plating is by reserving some of the ingredients (such as chopped pecans or fresh parsley) to sprinkle on top as a colorful garnish.
By keeping these tips in mind, you’ll be well on your way to creating a Southern Red Rice and Pecan Salad that’s not only delicious but also visually stunning. Happy cooking!
In conclusion, this Southern Red Rice and Pecan Salad Recipe is a must-try for anyone who loves rice salads or is looking for a unique and flavorful side dish. The combination of red rice, brown rice, pecans, dried cranberries, fresh veggies, and an array of herbs and spices create a fiery and scrumptious flavor.
Not only does this recipe taste amazing, but it’s also versatile and customizable to fit your preferences. You can adjust the spice level to your liking or even swap out ingredients based on what you have on hand. This salad pairs well with avocado, chicken salad, or even some blue cheese for a tangy kick.
Furthermore, this recipe is easy to make-ahead and store for later use. You can even pack it for lunch or bring it to a potluck party as it’s always a crowd-pleaser. Whether you’re new to Southern cuisine or an experienced cook looking for a new recipe to try, this recipe is sure to satisfy your taste buds.
In order words, if you want to add some excitement and flavor to your meals, then give this Southern Red Rice and Pecan Salad Recipe a go. With its mouthwatering combination of spices and textures, it’s sure to become one of your favorite go-to salad recipes. Let’s bring some Southern flair into our kitchens with this unforgettable dish!
Southern Red Rice and Pecan Salad Recipe
- 1 cup uncooked wehani rice
- 1 cup uncooked long grain brown rice
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped (4 oz.)
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- 1 pinch cayenne or 1 pinch hot sauce
- 5 scallions, minced (white and light green parts)
- 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
- 1/2 cup dried currants or 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
- avocado, slices (to garnish)
- Rinse both rices together in a sieve. In large saucepan, combine rice, 1/2 teaspoon salt, oregano, thyme and 3 1/2 cups water. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer until rice is tender and water is absorbed, about 45 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350°F Spread pecans in small baking pan and bake until toasted and fragrant, stirring once, about 7 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- In large shallow serving bowl, whisk together vinegar, oil, remaining salt, pepper and cayenne. Add scallions, tomatoes, celery, bell pepper, currants and parsley and mix well.
- When rice is done, remove from heat and let stand, covered, 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and stir into vegetable mixture. Chill at least 15 minutes.
- Just before serving, stir in toasted pecans and garnish with avocado slices.
Add Your Own Notes
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