Brown Rice, Chickpea & Carrot Salad to pair with 2018 Cabernet

In the March 15 issue of The Santa Rosa Press Democrat, the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon was reviewed:

4.5 stars. This cab has an enticing streak of black raspberry from start to finish. It also has notes of black cherry, mineral and cracked black pepper. With a supple texture and generous fruit, this cab is gorgeous.

Other Cabernets were reviewed, and Michele Anna Jordan created a recipe to pair with Cabernet; read on.

Fruity cab a good match for earthy grains

…..Certain grains and seeds — especially farro, chickpeas, brown rice and quinoa — engage with Cabernet’s earthy quality. Carrots encourage the spice notes in the wine to blossom. These qualities come together in a simple dish that can be the main part of a meal, with a green salad alongside, or a side dish with grilled vegetables, poultry or meat. I especially enjoy it with grilled green onions alongside. The salad pleases a disparate group, including vegans, vegetarians, carnivores and those who adhere to a gluten-free diet.

Brown Rice, Chickpea and Carrot Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette

Makes 4 to 6 servings

¾ cup raw short-grain brown rice

Kosher salt

Olive oil

2 carrots, preferably Nantes variety, peeled, trimmed and cut into very small dice

1 bay leaf

Black pepper in a mill

½ cup dry red wine

1 small red onion, peeled and cut into small dice

14-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

½ cup slivered almonds, lightly toasted

Large handful fresh Italian parsley leaves

Mustard Vinaigrette (recipe follows)

Put the rice in a small saucepan. Add a generous spoonful of salt, a splash of olive oil and 1¼ cups water and bring to a boil over high heat. When the water boils, reduce the heat and simmer until the rice is tender, about 35 to 40 minutes. Turn off the heat, leave the pan covered and let rest 15 minutes. Transfer the rice to a wide and shallow bowl, fluff with a fork and let cool slightly.

While the rice cools, prepare the carrots. Put them in a small saucepan; add about a teaspoon of salt, the bay leaf, several turns of black pepper and the wine. If the wine does not cover the carrots, add water to cover. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to low and simmer gently until the carrots are tender, about 7 to 8 minutes. Transfer the carrots to a bowl and add the onion, chickpeas, carrots and parsley and toss gently. Return the saucepan to the heat and simmer until the cooking liquid is reduced to about ⅓ cup. Add it to the bowl with the other ingredients.

Make the mustard vinaigrette.

While the rice is cooling, pour half the vinaigrette over it.

Once the rice has cooled but is still a bit warm, add the carrot mixture and toss gently. Add the remaining vinaigrette, toss again a time or two and enjoy right away.

Basic Mustard Vinaigrette

Makes about 1 cup

1 shallot, minced

2 garlic cloves, crushed and minced

Juice of 1 lemon, plus more to taste

Kosher salt

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

Black pepper in a mill

½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to taste

Put the shallot and garlic in a mixing bowl, add the lemon juice and a generous pinch of salt and set aside for 15 or 20 minutes. Add the mustard and several turns of black pepper and whisk in the olive oil. Taste and correct for acid and salt balance; if it is too tart for your taste, add a bit more olive oil, a tablespoon at a time. Set aside until ready to use.

Author: corkingnapa

Julie Ann Kodmur is a second-generation Californian who was born in San Francisco and grew up in La Jolla. As an eighth grader she was the runner-up in the state spelling bee. She’s lived in Italy and New York and now lives in the Napa Valley with her family. She is a marketing and publicity consultant in the wine industry. Her business life can be seen at This is the home for the overflow. The ‘title’ is a reference to a sculpture honoring an Argentinean journalist who practiced his craft in the 1930s before literally dying for his words. No such drama here, just hopefully some provocative fun.

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