Spiced Garbanzo and Rice Salad

Pair With: La Posta Pizzella Malbec

The dark cherry & earthy spice flavors of the Pizzella blend perfectly with the textures and flavors of the salad. Sweet dried fruit, chewy grains and spicy garbanzos play up the exotic qualities of this sultry Malbec.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cooked rice (brown, long-grain white, wild), warmed for serving

  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  • 2 14-ounce cans garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed then blotted dry

  • 1 teaspoon cumin

  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika

  • Sea salt and black pepper

  • ½ cup dried tart cherries (can substitute golden raisins, cranberries, currants)

  • ½ cup chopped walnuts (can substitute pistachios, sliced almonds or hazelnuts)

  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint or parsley

  • Fresh spinach leaves for serving

  • Crumbled goat or feta cheese (optional)

Directions:

Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large sauté pan. Add garbanzos, cumin and smoked paprika and cook over medium heat until browned and crisped, stirring occasionally (about 15 min). Season with sea salt and black pepper.

Meanwhile, in a large shallow serving bowl combine warm rice, cherries, walnuts, red wine vinegar and mint or parsley with remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil. Toss to combine thoroughly and stir in garbanzos. Check seasoning and add a little more olive oil if needed.

Line 4 plates with a handful of fresh spinach leaves. Top with rice salad.

Make Ahead Tip: Rice can be cooked in advance and refrigerated, then re-warmed in microwave or on stove top. Garbanzos can be crisped in advanced and re-warmed for serving.

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