Chewy black rice is tossed with grapes, green apple, celery, scallions, raisins, and cilantro before being coated in a creamy curry cashew dressing. The result is savory, sweet, spicy, crunchy, nutty and altogether wonderful.
By Ashley Melillo
The flavors of this salad are created with juicy grapes, crunchy celery, green apple, and lots of other goodness. Instead of a mayo- and oil-rich dressing, I made a creamy cashew curry dressing by blending soaked cashews, filtered water, curry powder, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, pure maple syrup, and sea salt. The result is a flavorful, velvety, spicy-sweet dressing with a swoon-worthy pale golden hue.
That warm, perfectly chewy black rice is tossed with halved red grapes, diced green apple, thinly sliced celery, scallions, raisins, and cilantro before being coated in the creamy curried cashew dressing. The result is a salad that is savory, sweet, subtly spicy, crunchy, juicy, nutty, chewy, and altogether wonderful. Can you tell I’m a bit obsessed?
If you’re making it for a crowd, I recommend reserving some of the dressing, grapes, scallions, and raisins to drizzle/garnish the salad with as it’s not exactly the most pleasing salad to look at once it’s tossed. Other than that, it’s as golden as its dressing.
- 1 cup short-grain black rice
- 1¾ cups water
- 4 scallions, thinly sliced
- 2 large celery stalks, ends trimmed and thinly sliced
- 1½ cups red seedless grapes, halved
- 1 medium green apple, cored, diced, and spritzed with the juice of ½ lemon to prevent browning
- ½ cup seedless raisins
- ¼ cup cilantro, roughly chopped (optional)
- ½ cup cashews, soaked in water for at least 2 hours, drained
- ½ cup filtered water
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 scant tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons curry powder
- 1½ teaspoons pure maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- Pour the black rice into a sieve or colander and thoroughly rinse until the water runs clear.
- In a medium saucepan, bring the black rice and water to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes or until the rice is tender and most of the water is absorbed. Remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes, covered. Fluff with a fork.
- Meanwhile, make the creamy curry cashew dressing. Add the soaked cashews, water, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, curry powder, maple syrup, and sea salt sea salt to a high-speed blender. Blend on high until completely smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings. Refrigerate until ready to assemble.
- Transfer the rice to a large serving bowl. Add the scallions, celery, grapes, green apple, raisins, and cilantro (if using). Stir to combine.
- Pour the creamy cashew curry dressing over the salad and toss to coat. At first, it will seem like there is too much dressing, but the salad will continue to absorb it as it rests.
- Refrigerate leftovers.