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Nero Rice Salad with Balsamic Glazed Apricots, Roasted Feta and Almonds

Nero Rice Salad with Balsamic Glazed Apricots, Roasted Feta and Almonds
December 2022
Reading time 5 minutes
This Nero black rice is a whole-grain rice with an unmistakable natural black colour that, while cooking, releases the characteristic scent of freshly baked bread. The sharp apricots with balsamic notes work a treat together with the salty feta cheese, the almonds and the fragrant Venere rice
Preparation Time
30 minutes
Cooking Time
25 minutes
  • 250g Riso Gallo Nero Rustico rice
  • 8 not too ripe apricots
  • 150g feta cheese
  • 60g toasted almonds
  • 1 small bunch of rocket salad
  • 1 small bunch of thyme
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • For the Pickled Red Onion
  • 500ml water
  • 500ml vinegar
  • 20g salt
  • 20g sugar
  • 15g salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 red onion
  • For the Balsamic Dressing
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

First prepare the pickled red onion but I won’t judge you if you rather go for a store-bought option! Bring the water and vinegar to the boil and add salt, sugar and bay leaf. Slice the onion into thin rings and place it into a bowl. Pour the hot liquid onto the onion and cover with cling film. Let it cool. The reaming heat will cook the onion. If you are making extra, keep the onion in cold liquid in the fridge for up to 10 days.

Prepare the dressing. Whisk a good pinch of salt and pepper into the balsamic, add the honey and mix. Now add the olive oil while whisking until all combined. This dressing will naturally separate itself, simply whisk again before using.

Cut the apricots in halves and remove the stones. Sprinkle with thyme leaves and drizzle with olive oil and mix well. Char the apricots halves on a very hot griddle pan on both sides. It should take no longer than one minutes each side or until visually charred. It is important that the pan is very hot, the apricots well-oiled and that you do not attempt to turn them if they don’t look already charred or they could stick to the pan.

Boil the Venere rice following the packet instruction in salted boiling water and let it cool slightly. In a non-stick pan heat a drizzle of oil and pan fry the feta on both sides. Add a few thyme leaves for aroma. Cook for two minutes on each side on high heat and remember to be very gentle when turning the cheese as it is very delicate and crumbly when hot. Do not panic if it breaks or doesn’t come out well golden, the feta work well in this salad even as it is, so it won’t be a problem if not perfectly roasted or if it crumbles.

If not pre-roasted, toast the almond either on a pan or in the oven until golden. When cold, chop them into rough segments.

Assemble now the salad. Drizzle a little oil on the rice and plate in shallow bowls. Add the roasted apricots segments, crumble over the golden feta and top with pickled red onion rings. Drizzle over a spoonful of balsamic dressing and garnish the rice salad with the chopped almonds and fresh rocket salad.

Recipe by Danilo Cortellini for Riso Gallo

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