This winter rice salad is a great vegetarian buffet side dish. It's also perfect as a light meal with leftover roast ham, chicken or turkey.
This winter rice salad is inspired by a recipe my mum has been making for many years. It's a regular recipe whenever we have family gatherings and a buffet meal. I remember eating it as a child as well as more recently.
One of the things I love about it is the variety of textures. There's the rice with just a slight bite, the crunchiness of the dry roasted peanuts and the juiciness of the mandarin oranges. The flavours complement each other so well. The saltiness of the dry roasted peanuts alongside the sweetness of the mandarins is delicious.
My mum dresses the rice salad with mayonnaise but I've lightened it up a bit by using a mixture of mayonnaise and natural yogurt.
What to eat with this mandarin orange rice salad
This tasty rice salad with mandarins and peanuts is so versatile. The great thing about it at Christmas is that it's easy to make and you can make a big batch. Then just keep getting it out of the fridge to make an easy meal with whatever leftovers you happen to have.
I love it with leftover ham, chicken or turkey. But if you're vegetarian or don't have any meaty leftovers, it's also great on it's own. I can quite happily eat a big plateful of this peanut rice salad at any meal. It also travels well and makes a tasty packed lunch.
How can you adapt this rice salad?
If you don't have any mandarins or want to adapt the recipe, it also works with pineapple instead of mandarins. Although I haven't tried it, I'm sure pomegranate seeds would be another tasty alternative.
I like to use dry roasted peanuts to make this salad as they are so tasty! However, if you want a less salty alternative then just dry fry some unsalted peanuts in a dry frying pan. They'll still give this salad a delicious nuttiness. You could also swap them for almonds (whole or flaked), pistachios or walnuts.
How long can you store this peanut rice salad?
This peanut and mandarin rice salad keeps well for three days in the fridge.
Winter Rice Salad
- 150 g rice (I used a mixture of wild and basmati rice)
- 6 spring onions chopped
- 70 g dry roasted peanuts
- 30 g mayonnaise
- 40 g natural yoghurt
- black pepper (optional)
- 295 g tin of mandarin orange segments in juice, drained
- leftover roast chicken (optional)
- Cook the rice according to the pack instructions. When cooked, rinse under cold water and drain well. Leave to stand in the sieve for any excess water to drain off.
- Mix the rice, spring onions, peanuts, mayonnaise and yoghurt together. Add a little black pepper to taste.
- Gently stir in the mandarin segments.
- Serve on it's own or with leftover roast chicken.
More salad recipes with grains?
Why not check out my collection of main meal salads too?