Transform your leftovers into a flavoursome feast with our Contributing Food Editor’s simple salad recipe
RECIPE, STYLING & IMAGE: EMILY JONZEN
Since the start of this strange lockdown period, the phrase ‘waste not, want not’ has gained increasing pertinence. I’ve always been pretty good at using things up, but the thought of being wasteful and not maximising leftovers to provide sustenance, now brings me out in a cold sweat!
Like many people, we are tightening our purse strings at home and only going out the shops when totally necessary. Things need to last longer and we need to be savvier with how we use what we have. One thing that I’ve realised from this experience is the importance of flavour to utilise ingredients to the max. I’ve been peppering sauces with capers and olives, splashing vinegars, fish sauce and lemon juice to liven up dressings, and adding plenty of horseradish to otherwise bland tins of mackerel.
The salad I made last week was based on leftover brown rice I had in the fridge from the night before. Usually, I’d use leftover rice in a stir-fry, but I had a hankering for greens and was keen to use up some asparagus that I was lucky enough to have in my fridge.
I settled on a Japanese-inspired dressing to liven up the rice and asparagus and some other greens, which was sharp but creamy. It’s brilliant for jazzing up any veg but can also be served with cooked chicken or fish.
As a general note, always make sure you store leftover rice in the fridge promptly after cooking and don’t leave it out of the fridge for too long before serving.
Rice & Greens Salad with a Tart Sesame Dressing
- 2 tbsp tahini
- 1 1/2 tbsp tamari / light soy
- 1 tbsp vinegar, such as rice, white wine or cider
- 1/2 tsp mirin (optional)
- A pinch of sugar
- 1/2 a head broccoli, cut into florets (use the stalk up by trimming and slicing)
- 150 g asparagus spears / green beans, trimmed and cut into 4-5cm pieces
- 100 g edamame beans / peas
- 300-400 g leftover cooked rice
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 2 spring onions, finely sliced
- Shichimi togarashi / sesame seeds, to serve (optional)
- Firstly, make the dressing. Whisk together the tahini, tamari / soy, vinegar, mirin (if using) and sugar. Let down with a tbsp or so of water, until pourable. Taste and add extra soy, vinegar or sugar, to your liking. You want a good balance of sharp and creamy.
- Heat 1-2 tbsp oil in a large frying pan. Add the broccoli and stir-fry for 3-4 mins, then add the asparagus / green beans and continue to stir fry for a further 2 mins. Once the greens are almost tender but retaining some bite, add the edamame / peas and fry for a final 1-2 mins, until warmed through. Set aside to cool slightly.
- Tip the rice into a salad bowl and toss with the sesame oil. Stir through the vegetables and pour over the dressing. Sprinkle over the spring onions and shichimi togarashi / sesame seeds to serve.
You can discover more of Emily’s ideas for simple and delicious lunches here…