The following recipe started off with intentions of becoming a typical Waldorf Salad. Not that I was particularly craving it, but more like I had an abundance of apples on hand that I wanted to use.
I quickly abandoned the idea once I realized Waldorf salad traditionally calls for lettuce as its base rather than the rice which I wanted to pair with the apples. I don’t do too many sweet renditions of rice, but oddly that indeed was what I was craving.
Besides, it was easy to let go of the whole Waldorf thing, because really, when have you ever had a truly memorable Waldorf salad? For me, I can probably say never. Waldorf salad tends to be that mysterious item on the salad bar in which everyone takes a little spoonful because its creaminess looks, well, creamy. Creamy generally evokes those luxurious flavor adjectives such as smooth, rich, and buttery. But does Waldorf salad generally embody any of these characteristics? Nada.
Occasionally, it’s worth a few bites, acting as a sweet, refreshing chutney in accompanying a heavy meal. But enough about forgettable Waldorf salads, let’s get to the rice recipe picture above. I decided to stick with the idea of creating a refreshing salad, and then veered off down a path of memorable flavor. I chose apples to keep it light, and then added curry powder to draw on the sweetness of the raisins and maple syrup I would be adding. I also chose to retain a light creaminess by adding yogurt, and then finished it off with some toasty, full-bodied nuts. The end result made me wonder why I don’t play with sweet and savory combinations more often. If given a spot on the salad bar, this Maple Curry Rice Salad would be worthy of more than just one curious spoonful. You’d bet I’d be back for seconds.
Serve this dish hot or cold. Note that if served warm, the cayenne will be more distinct, if used.
- -2 cups cooked brown rice
- -1 small eating apple (Choose a sweet, slightly soft variety, such as a McIntosh), finely chopped
- -3/4 cup plain yogurt
- -1/3 cups raisins
- -1/3 cup walnuts, toasted
- -1 Tbsp. curry powder
- -2-3 Tbsp. maple syrup
- -1/8 tsp. salt
- -1/4 tsp. cayenne, optional
- Stir all of the ingredients together until thoroughly combined.
- Start with just 2 Tbsp. of maple syrup. Taste, and add remaining Tbsp. of maple syrup if desired.