The best thing about Finnish apple season, is the huge variety of apples I have never seen in the UK. This salad mixes crunchy Finnish apples with healthy black rice. I like to use black rice in salads as, not only does it look good, but it retains its texture well and has an almost nutty flavour. Use whatever apples you like, but I would recommend crisp, sharp apples, rather than softer more floury varieties that work better in baking.
Black Rice Apple Salad – serves 6
125 g black rice
100 g pecan, toasted
150 g dried cranberries
1 dl/ 100 ml apple juice
2 apples, cored and roughly chopped
1 small red onion, very finely sliced
1/2 cucumber, cut into small chinks
a small bunch of chives chopped
1 tbsp dijon mustard
5 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp cider vinegar
2 tbsp apple juice
Cook the rice as per manufacturers instructions, before refreshing under ice cold water and leaving to drain.
While the rice is cooking, warm the 1 dl of apple juice and add the cranberries. Remove from the heat and leave to absorb for around 45 minutes.
Meanwhile whisk together the mustard, olive oil, cider vinegar and apple juice to form your dressing.
Drain the cranberries from their juice and add to a large bowl with the rice, chopped apples, cucumber, onion and chives.
When you are ready to serve add the dressing and pecans and lightly toss, before tipping out onto your serving dish.