With a lot of contrasting textures, this salad will keep well in the fridge so it is good for lunches the next day. A versatile salad, it would work well with other grilled meats, goat’s cheese or on its own as part of a BBQ spread.
125g Wild Red Rice
4tbsp Apple Vinegar, (or white wine vinegar with sugar added to sweeten)
2tbsp barberries (currants/sultanas/raisins could also be used)
120g sugar snap peas, stalks removed
4 large spears of asparagus, more if they are thinner
4 spring onions
2 pieces salmon fillet (approx. 125g each)
Salt and pepper, to taste
Place the Red Rice in small pan, cover with 310ml water and season with a good few pinches of salt. Bring to the boil then turn the heat down to low and cover. Cook gently for 35-40 minutes then remove the cover and continue to cook until all the water has evaporated.
While the Red Rice is cooking, cut the cucumber in half and then slice it into thin half moons. Place in a bowl and season with a few pinches of salt, add the Vinegar and barberries then stir well to coat. Set aside, stirring from time to time, until ready to use.
Place a frying pan on a high heat and when hot, add the sugar snap peas. Cook for 2–3 minutes so that they begin to blacken and blister, then shake the pan to turn them over and cook for another 2–3 minutes, or until singed all over. Empty the pan and place it back on the heat.
Trim the wooden base off the asparagus then add them to the pan. Cook for around 4-5 minutes, shaking from time to time, until all the edges are blackened and the asparagus has softened on the outside.
Trim the root from the spring onions and remove the outer, papery skin from them. Place them in the hot pan and cook for 2–3 minutes on each side, and then remove them.
Cut the asparagus into smaller pieces, around 3–4 per stem and do the same with the spring onions. Place all the greens in a bowl and season with salt and pepper, then dress with some of the Vinegar from the cucumbers. Add the Olive Oil and mix, taste, then add more salt and pepper as you feel is necessary.
When the Red Rice is cooked, allow it to cool for a few minutes (you can cook this ahead of time), then mix with the charred greens. Drain the cucumbers and barberries, but reserve the Vinegar, and add to the Red Rice. Mix everything together and taste, adding a little more salt, pepper or vinegar if you feel it needs it. Allow the flavours to socialise while you cook the salmon.
Place a frying pan (preferably non-stick) on a medium to high heat, and when hot, add the salmon (skin side down if it has it). Season with salt and cook for 2 minutes, or until light golden brown, then turn the salmon onto the opposite side, season with salt, and cook for 2 minutes again. Cook the edges of the salmon for 1 minute each, then remove the salmon and place it on a plate to rest for 2 minutes. This amount of cooking should cook the salmon medium rare, so cook it for longer if you prefer it cooked through.
Divide the Rice salad between plates and top with the salmon.