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Curried Black Rice Crunch Salad
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5 from 1 vote

Vegan Black Rice Crunch Salad with Creamy Curried Cashew Dressing

This salad is everything. Savory, sweet, subtly spicy, crunchy, juicy, nutty, chewy, and altogether wonderful. Instead of using a mayo- or oil-heavy base for the dressing, this creamy cashew curry dressing is made 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. The dressing is poured over a swath perfectly chewy black rice, juicy red grapes, diced green apple, thinly sliced celery, scallions, raisins, and cilantro. 
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Salad, Side Dish
Servings: 6 to 12

Ingredients

Black Rice Salad

  • 1 cup short-grain black rice
  • 1 ¾ cups water
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 2 large celery stalks, ends trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 1 ½ 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)

Creamy Curry Cashew Dressing

  • 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
  • 1 ½ teaspoons pure maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt

Instructions

  • 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.

Notes

Tip: If you're serving this to a group and want to jazz up the presentation, reserve approximately ⅓ cup of dressing. Then, transfer the salad to a large serving bowl, drizzle the dressing over top, and add an additional sprinkling of raisins, halved red grapes, cilantro, and scallions.