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Red Rice and Chicken Salad with Pomegranate and Feta

This unusual salad is full of flavour and high in fibre. Never tried red rice before? It’s a nutrient rich alternative to white rice, and it looks pretty too.
  • Ingredients
  • Method
For the dressing:
zest and juice 2 lemons
4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
pinch of caster sugar
1/2 tsp salt and a few grinds of black pepper
For the salad:
250g red Camargue rice, cooked according to the packet instructions.
1 small ready-roasted chicken, skin discarded and meat shredded.
50g almonds, toasted and chopped
1 medium cucumber, deseeded, cut into diagonal chunky pieces
1 bunch spring onions, cleaned and chopped
100g feta cheese, drained and crumbled
1 pomegranate, seeds removed
small handful dill, washed and finely chopped

Make the dressing while the rice is cooking by shaking the ingredients in a jar. Once cooked and drained, spread the rice out in a large bowl and pour the dressing over the top. The flavours will be absorbed by the rice as it cools.

Toast the almonds by heating them in a frying pan without any oil until they begin to turn brown, then chop them. Save a few to sprinkle on top of the salad before serving.

Getting the seeds out of pomegranate may be your most time consuming job here. Wear an apron and don’t do it near to white kitchen walls because the juice might speckle them (yes I learnt this the hard way.) Cut it in half by cutting the skin only and then prizing the pomegranate apart. Divide each half into quarters by cutting in the same way and pressing the skin with your thumbs to turn the fruit inside out. Separate the seeds from one another gently, removing any layers of yellow skin.

This unusual salad is full of flavour and high in fibre. Never tried red rice before? It’s a nutrient rich alternative to white rice, and it looks pretty too.

This salad is a really attractive dish to bring to the table, and doesn’t take long to make. I wouldn’t have thought of putting such contrasting flavours together, but they mean that every forkful is different. While some rice salads can taste mushy, this one tastes fresh and crunchy. Thanks to BBC Good Food for the recipe.

Red rice is even healthier than brown rice, plus I like it more anyway. It’s got novelty value but isn’t as hard to buy as you think – I found mine in Tesco. It’s bright red in the packet and fades to a brownish red when cooked, it tastes a little nutty and has a more interesting texture than white rice. All rices have roughly the same calorific value, but red rice is a higher fibre choice and more nutritious.

What makes this salad exceptionally healthy is the high level of anthocyanins. They give both the rice and the pomegranate their red colour, and have been linked to increased longevity, cardiovascular health, cancer prevention and dementia. In addition, pomegranate has been shown to strengthen bones and prevent osteoporosis in mice through decreased inflammation and oxidative stress.

 

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