Now that the ‘good weather’ is here, I’m on the hunt for new and fun salads. There are so many rice and grain options to try, and I thought I had found a fun new rice to try out at my bulk store. This rice looked bigger than most rice, and was labelled “Cavena Nuda – Rice of the Prairies”.
Sounded pretty good to me! Little did I know that this “rice” was not rice at all…
Not a rice, it’s actually an oat grain. I found this article from the Winnipeg Free Press describing what Cavena Nuda is. That’s when I realized I had actually heard of it before.
I saw it on the Dragon’s Den, a Canadian television show where entrepreneurs try to get the ‘dragons’ to invest in their business. Thankfully, I also remembered the dragons liking it… so I wasn’t too worried.
This grain is perfect for a grain salad, because it’s chewy and holds up well after being doused in some dressing. It also has a nice nutty flavour that balances with tangy, fresh veggies.
I had to plan this out a little bit, because it can take a long time to cook this kind of grain. I decided to use the same method I use to soak and cook dried beans – soak for 24 hours, drain the water, then simmer for 45 minutes to cook. It worked like a charm! I froze about half of it, and used the rest for this salad.
The mustard dressing went well with the Cavena Nuda, because strong taste of the grain could handle the bold mustard. In the same way, I added green pepper and corn to add another balanced layer of zesty and sweet.
This was a fun salad that packs a big punch, both in flavour and in nutrition. Serve alongside your favourite grilled protein (we had fish)! This recipe could also be used with a brown and wild rice blend.
Cavena Nuda Salad with Tangy Mustard Dressing
- 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon grainy mustard
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon dried dill (or 1 teaspoon fresh)
- 2 cups cooked Cavena Nuda (or a brown & wild rice blend – something nutty!)
- 1 cup cooked chick peas / garbanzo beans
- 1 cup chopped green pepper
- 1.5 cups corn kernels, cooked
- 1-2 scallions (green onion), white part minced and green part sliced
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
- Whisk together dressing ingredients: cider vinegar, olive oil, mustard, salt & pepper, dill and the white part of the scallion.
- Combine Cavena Nuda, chick peas, green pepper, corn and the green part of the scallion.
- Toss the salad with about half of the dressing, until well coated. Let sit for about 5 minutes and taste. If you need to add more dressing, repeat.
- Top with slivered almonds and serve.