Brown Rice Salad with Parsley Vinaigrette

After almost two weeks off of work, I’m heading back tomorrow. This hearty salad will be in my lunchbox. I love to pack foods for lunch that taste great at room temperature, and this one fits the bill. It can take a while to roast the veggies, so if you want to make this on a weeknight, I suggest roasting the beets and turnips on the weekend and refrigerating them till you’re ready to whip this up. The salad will come together in just a few minutes then.

I used parsley in the vinaigrette because that’s the herb I had in the fridge, but I imagine any number of herbs would be great – cilantro maybe? Play around and see which one you like the best. Also, any whole grain would work instead of the brown rice. Finally, I quartered my beets, but I wouldn’t go any smaller than that because they’ll become a pain to peel. Whatever you do, try to get the beets and turnips about the same size so they’ll cook fairly evenly. The beets will still take a little longer, but not too much.

Brown Rice Salad with Parsley Vinaigrette

2 cups brown rice, cooked (about 1 cup dry)
~1 lb small turnips, cut into 2-inch pieces*
~1 lb beets, quartered
1/2 cup green onions/shallots, sliced
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 tbsp lemon juice
Handful parsley leaves, chopped (about 1 cup)
Kosher salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spread turnips and beets on a baking pan that’s been coated with cooking spray. Spray them with cooking spray (or drizzle with olive oil – just try to coat them evenly) and sprinkle with kosher salt. Roast for 40 minutes. The turnips should be tender at this point, so remove them to a large bowl. The beets will probably need another 10-15 minutes. When the beets are finished, let them cool for a few minutes, then slip off their skins. Add to the bowl with the turnips.

Add brown rice and green onions/shallots to the veggies and combine well. In a small bowl, whisk together oil and lemon juice until emulsified. Stir in parsley, and immediately pour over the brown rice mixture. Stir to combine.

*If you get smaller Oriental turnips, just use them as is. If you get regular turnips, you’ll probably want to peel them before you use them.

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