The temperature's rising, so it's time to pack your picnic basket and head outdoors for an alfresco feast. This easy-to-make salad works brilliantly on its own or with chicken or game, so it will make a perfect addition to your spread. Prepare it in advance to let the sweet flavours of the grape, orange and raisins mingle with the earthiness of the rice.

Ingredients

Serves 4-6
  • 175g American easy-cook wild rice and long grain mixture  
  • Salt 
  • 250g cucumber 
  • 250g Florence fennel 
  • 6 spring onions 
  • 125g seedless ruby grapes
  • 50g skinned hazelnuts
  • 25g raisins
  • 1 orange
For the dressing:
  • 3 sprigs chervil
  • 2 sprigs each of tarragon and parsley
  • 6tbs hazelnut or walnut oil
  • 1tbs white wine vinegar
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 4–6 sprigs tarragon (to garnish)

Method

1. Bring 425ml of water to the boil, add the rice and a little salt, cover and simmer for 18–20 minutes, or until the rice is cooked and all the water is absorbed.

2. Meanwhile, rinse and dry the cucumber, fennel, spring onions and grapes. Finely dice the cucumber; trim and thinly slice the fennel and spring onions and halve the grapes. Place in a salad bowl. Chop the hazelnuts and add along with the raisins.

3. Wash any wax from the orange and grate the rind into the salad.

4. To make the herb dressing, squeeze 3tbs of juice from the orange and pour into a small bowl. Rinse, dry and finely chop the herbs and add to the juice with the oil and vinegar. Whisk together, then season to taste.

5. Drain the cooked rice and rinse it briefly under a cold tap. Drain well, mix into the salad vegetables and pour the dressing over. Garnish with sprigs of tarragon.

Buy: Great British Vegetable Cookbook

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