This rice salad reminds me of fall– the flavors seem warm and comforting!
In the old days (yes, I’ve been cooking a long time), we had to get raw hazelnuts in bulk, with the skins on. That meant roasting them and then rolling them in a towel to get the bitter skins off. A tedious job. Or, my mom had another method, adding baking soda to some boiling water and soaking them in that. How much easier now, that I can just pick some up, already toasted and ready to use, at Trader Joe’s!
This is a hearty side dish that goes well with roasted chicken around the holidays. Prepare much of it ahead of time, mixing it all together just before serving. Serves 9.
- 2 c. boiling water
- 2 c. cracked wheat or bulgar (found at health food stores)
- 1 c. hazelnuts
- 1/2 c. raisins
- 1/2 c. fresh parsley
- 1/2 c. almond oil (or Virgin olive oil)
- 2 TBS. frozen orange juice concentrate (or substitute freshly-juiced, and reduced)
- Zest from 1 orange (or 2 drops orange extract)
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1/2 bunch green onions, chopped
- 1/2 TBS. salt
Prepare the cracked wheat the morning or the night before serving, letting cool in the refrigerator with the lid on, without stirring. Add the following to a large bowl: > 2 c. boiling water > 2 c. cracked wheat or bulgar (found at health food stores)
Cover and let sit 10 minutes before refrigerating. Next, toast the following nuts at 400° for 10 minutes or so, until golden. Rub off skins inside a clean towel afterward (they don’t all slip off; some skin will probably remain): > 1 c. hazelnuts
Chop nuts coarsely, by hand or in food processor, after they cool. (Already toasted, chopped hazelnuts are convenient. If available, skip the above steps.)
Set aside nuts, then process coarsely in food processor (or chop by hand): > 1/2 c. raisins > 1/2 c. fresh parsley
All the above, and the dressing below, can be prepared ahead of time. To serve, mix all the above with a mixture of the following: > 1/2 c. almond oil (or Virgin olive oil) > 2 TBS. frozen orange juice concentrate (or substitute fresh squeezed orange juice, boiled some to reduce) > Zest from 1 orange (or 2 drops orange extract) > Juice of 1 lemon > 1/2 bunch green onions, chopped > 1/2 TBS. salt