With the approach of Autumn, we bid farewell to one red fruit (the tomato) and hello to another (the apple).
There are a large number of apple orchards in my neck of the woods, and it’s been a long tradition in my family to trek to the foothills for the annual apple festival. I like to take advantage of locally grown produce – not only does it taste fresher and more flavorful, but I believe in supporting farmers in my area.
Note: There’s a fabulous article about apples by Helen Nichols, 34 Science-Backed Health Benefits of Apples, that will inspire you to try not only my Apple Rice Salad, but many others as well. Of special interest is a description of the various types of apples, and the dishes in which they work well.
Besides the usual apple pie, apple fritters, apple sauce, and apple juice, one of my favorite uses for these red beauties is Apple Rice Salad. It’s a great company dish because it’s best made ahead of time (I love those recipes! Who needs more tasks to do as company’s arriving?!)
Be sure you make plenty, because this is a crowd pleaser!
APPLE RICE SALAD – makes 2½ cups
- 1/2 cup uncooked brown rice (I use Trader Joe’s Brown Rice Medley)
- 1 T balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 T olive oil
- 1 tsp honey
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 clove garlic, pressed or minced
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1 tart red apple (I use Fuji) chopped into bite sized pieces
- 1 stalk celery, chopped
- 3 T raisins
- 2 T sunflower seeds, lightly toasted
Cook rice. Let cool when done.
As the rice is cooking, mix the dressing. In a small bowl blend the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, honey, Dijon, garlic, and salt.
Mix together the cooled cooked rice, apple, celery, raisins, and dressing. Refrigerate.
At serving time, stir in the sunflower seeds.