For the salad:
1 cup brown rice, long- or short-grained
1 cup whole pecans
1 heart of romaine
2 cups red grapes
1 cup crumbled ricotta salata
For the vinaigrette:
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons spicy brown mustard
Salt and pepper
Bring a 2-quart pan of water to a boil. Add the rice and a teaspoon of salt. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the rice is chewy and cooked through. Drain and set aside.
While the rice is cooking, heat the oven to 350°F and spread the nuts on a baking sheet. Roast the nuts in the oven for about 10 minutes, stirring once or twice, until toasted a darker shade of brown and very fragrant. When cool enough to handle, transfer the nuts to a cutting board and roughly chop. Set aside.
Slice the hard of romaine down its length into quarters and then chop each quarter cross-wise into thin slices. Slice the grapes into quarters.
To make the vinaigrette, combine the vinegar, olive oil, brown mustard, a healthy pinch of salt, and a few cracks of black pepper in a small bowl. Whisk to combine, taste, and adjust any of the ingredients to taste as needed.
Combine the cooked rice, chopped pecans, chopped romaine, and grapes in a large mixing bowl. Pour the vinaigrette over the salad mix. Stir and toss the salad until all the ingredients are evenly coated. Stir in the crumbled ricotta salata, reserving a few crumbles to sprinkle over the top of the dish. Taste and add additional salt and pepper if needed.
Transfer to a serving bowl and top with the reserved ricotta salata. Leftovers will keep for about 5 days refrigerated.
Serves 6 to 8.
Uploaded: Mar 12, 2014