This family-style salad is packed with vitamins, minerals and fibre. It is an excellent way to use up leftover roast beef, and the vegetables can be varied to suit all tastes. It makes a hearty meal in itself.
400g lean roast beef, cut into 1cm pieces
½ cup (50g) sun-dried tomatoes (not oil-packed), rehydrated
4 spring onions, thinly sliced
2 tbsp snipped fresh chives
1¼ cups (250g) basmati rice, rinsed
1 celery stalk, thinly sliced
1 carrot, coarsely grated
1 zucchini, coarsely grated
1 cup (80g) thinly sliced button mushrooms
⅓ cup (20g) chopped fresh parsley
radicchio or other salad leaves (optional)
For the dressing
1½ tsp mustard powder
½ tsp caster sugar
2 tbsp cider vinegar
¼ cup (60ml) olive oil
pepper to taste
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First make the dressing. Put the mustard powder and sugar in a large mixing bowl and stir in the vinegar until smooth. Whisk in the oil until thoroughly blended. Season with pepper to taste.
Add the beef, sun-dried tomatoes, spring onions and chives to the bowl and stir to coat all the ingredients with the dressing. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes (or up to 8 hours).
Meanwhile, cook the rice in a saucepan of boiling water for 8–10 minutes or until just tender. Drain well and spread out on a tray to cool completely.
When the rice is cool, transfer it to a bowl and stir in the celery, carrot, zucchini, mushrooms and parsley. Cover and refrigerate until needed.
About 10 minutes before serving, remove the marinated beef and the rice salad from the refrigerator. If you like, line four plates with radicchio or other salad leaves. Add the marinated beef mixture to the rice salad and gently stir together until well mixed. Spoon the salad on to the bed of leaves, then serve.
Some more ideas…
*Chicken, peach and rice salad: Use cubes of roast chicken instead of beef. Replace the sun-dried tomatoes and spring onions with 2 sliced peaches and the chives with chopped fresh parsley. In the rice salad, instead of celery, carrot, zucchini and mushrooms, use 1¼ cups (215g) thawed frozen corn kernels, 2 thinly sliced leeks and 200g chopped fennel. *For extra texture, add some alfalfa sprouts.
*Beef is now much leaner than it used to be. Cuts of beef, such as topside, can contain less than 3 per cent fat. *Vinegar has been used for preserving and cooking, as well as in cleaning and for healing, for more than 10,000 years. *Radicchio, a member of the chicory family, has deep red-and-white, tightly packed leaves. The red pigment means this vegetable is high in betacarotene.