Dinner ideas

Cherry & herb jewelled rice salad

Plump and juicy cherries are the crowning jewels in this Persian-inspired rice salad.
Cherry & herb jewelled rice salad on a white serving platter

This gorgeous rice salad is as colourful as it is tasty. With the inclusion of ripe cherries, crispy shallots, vibrant herbs and a tangy lemon dressing, this veggie delight is impressive enough to serve to guests, but quick enough for your Meat-Free Monday!





Rinse the rice in a sieve until water runs clear. Transfer the rice to a medium saucepan, add 1½ cups (375ml) water and bring to a gentle simmer. Cover and cook over low heat for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, stand rice for 10 minutes then fluff rice with a fork. Transfer rice to a large bowl and add 2 tablespoons of the Lemon Dressing, toss to combine; cool.


CRISPY SHALLOTS Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over low heat. Add the shallots, cook, stirring, for 20 minutes or until shallots are deep golden brown. Strain shallots through a sieve to drain away excess oil.


LEMON DRESSING Meanwhile, combine all ingredients in a screw-top jar; shake well. Season with salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper.


Just before serving, arrange rice, herbs, cherries and Crispy Shallots on a large platter. Drizzle over remaining Lemon Dressing, toss gently. Serve with an extra pinch of sumac.

We cut the shallots using a mandolin for very fine slices. Not suitable to freeze.

Test Kitchen tip

Rice salad recipe ideas

This rice salad recipe is inspired by the Persian jewelled rice pilaf, which is so named for the gem-like fruits and nuts studded throughout the saffron-stained rice. Our version uses fresh cherries in place of dried fruits and pomegranate seeds, and includes herbs and a lemon-sumac dressing to make it a beautiful, zingy rice salad. Don’t skip the flavoursome addition of the home-made crispy shallots!

Other rice salad ideas include this Mediterranean grain salad, this five grain salad with feta and oranges, and this simple rice salad with chopped vegetables.

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