Jeweled Rize Salad

Adapted from "Still Life with Menu"
Preparation time: 45 minutes, plus time to cool
Yield: 6 to 8 servings

2 cups long grain brown rice
3 cups water
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
6 to 8 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon honey
1 1/2 cups cooked chick peas (1 15-ounce can), rinsed and drained (optional)
4 to 6 scallions, very finely minced (whites and greens)
1/2 cup (packed measure) parsley, very finely minced
1 cup chopped pecans, lightly toasted
2 cups seedless grapes–whole or sliced in half
  1. Place the rice and water in a saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a very slow simmer and cook undisturbed for 40 minutes, or until all the water is absorbed and the rice is tender. Immediately transfer the hot, cooked rice to a large platter or a long, shallow pan, spreading the grains so steam can escape. Fluff with a fork to separate all the grains, and set aside while you prepare the other ingredients.
  2. In a large bowl, combine olive oil, 6 tablespoons lemon juice, salt, garlic and honey. When the rice has cooled to room temperature, add it to this dressing along with the chick peas, if desired, and stir with a fork until thoroughly combined. Taste to see if it needs more lemon juice, then cover tightly and refrigerate until shortly before serving time.
  3. Within 15 minutes of serving, add the scallions, parsley, pecans, grapes, and black pepper to taste. Mix gently but completely, and serve.
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