Beet and Brown Rice Salad with Goat Cheese
Beets give a dramatic hue to a brown-rice salad, which is sprinkled with goat cheese, pine nuts, and parsley.
- 1 cup brown basmati, or other brown rice
- 1 bay leaf
- Coarse salt
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 2 small onions, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 4 medium red beets (about 1 pound), without greens, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- Freshly ground pepper
- 2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus more for garnish
- 2 ounces (about 3/4 cup) soft goat cheese, crumbled
Bring 1 1/2 cups water to a boil in a small saucepan. Stir in rice, bay leaf, and 1/2 teaspoon salt; cover. Reduce heat to low; simmer 30 minutes. Remove from heat; let stand, covered.
Meanwhile, toast pine nuts in oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Cook, stirring, until nuts are just browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer nuts with a slotted spoon to a small bowl.
Reduce heat to medium-low; add onions and garlic to skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are translucent, about 8 minutes. Add beets and 1 teaspoon salt; season with pepper. Cover; cook, stirring occasionally, until beets are tender, about 25 minutes (if beets stick to skillet, add up to 1/4 cup water).
Remove bay leaf from rice. Stir rice, half of pine nuts, the lemon zest, and parsley into beet mixture. Transfer to a platter. Top with remaining pine nuts and the goat cheese. Garnish with parsley. Serve warm or at room temperature.