Recipe of the week
I love cherries as much as anyone, but “every now and again I am surprised at just how good they are in a salad,” said Joe Yonan in The Washington Post. Their firm texture plays well with soft cheeses, chewy cooked grains, or crunchy nuts, while their sweet, tangy juice eliminates the need for an elaborate dressing. The kind of salad I have in mind “could hardly get much simpler” than this one, from the new book Everyday Vegetarian. Ready to take on the role of a picnic side, an office lunch, or the centerpiece of a light supper, it’s “just as flexible in the eating as it is in the making.”
Brown rice and chickpea salad with cherries and goat cheese
2 cups cooked brown rice, warmed • 2 scallions, trimmed and chopped • ¼ cup lightly packed chopped fresh basil leaves • 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil • 2 tbsp white balsamic vinegar (or white wine or sherry vinegar) • ½ tsp kosher salt, more as needed • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper, more as needed • 32 fresh cherries (about 9 oz), pitted and quartered • 1¾ cups home-cooked or 15 oz unsalted canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained • 2 oz goat cheese, crumbled or in pinches (about ½ cup)
• Combine the brown rice, scallions, basil, oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, cherries, and chickpeas in a mixing bowl, stirring to incorporate. Taste, and add more salt and pepper as needed.
• Divide among individual bowls and sprinkle each evenly with the goat cheese. Serves 4. ■