Wild Rice, Red Cabbage, Apple and Toasted Cobnuts Salad
- 200g wild rice, rinsed in cold water
- 150g red cabbage
- ½ a medium red onion, finely sliced
- 2 red-tinged eating apples, such as Jonagold
- 25g watercress
- 5 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 40g thinly sliced cobnuts
- lightly toasted in a dry pan juice of 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1½ tablespoons good balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- a few twists of freshly ground black pepper
From mid to late August through to September, we can gather cobnuts, the cultivated version of wild hazelnuts, from the trees around the farm – you have to be quick, though, to beat the squirrels. In season you should be able to find the nuts in shops, greengrocers and markets.
If you can’t find cobnuts, you can use thinly sliced hazelnuts (though these have a slightly more intense flavour), or whole almonds, again thinly sliced.
Cobnuts and apples are ready for harvesting at the same time – and we make this salad with many different apple varieties throughout the season, including heritage ones, such as Blenheim Gold, a popular, old, local variety. You need apples with some sweetness and preferably some good streaks of red in the skin, to give a nice colour to the salad, so of the more readily available apple varieties, Jonagold is a good one to choose.
Half fill a medium pan with water, bring to the boil, then add the wild rice and stir a couple of times. Bring up to a simmer and cook for 35–40 minutes, or until the rice is tender. Drain in a sieve under running water until the rice is cold, then drain well again, and tip into a mixing bowl.
Trim the cabbage of any damaged outer leaves, cut in half and remove the central core then slice the leaves very finely. Add to the rice, along with the red onion. Quarter and core the apples, grate coarsely then add to the bowl, with the rest of the ingredients, toss gently and serve.