The salad works best in a glass or clear plastic bowl or dish, so you can see the layers. I use Mountain Blend rice in the top layer, which is a mix of brown, red and black rice, or you could use brown rice on its own. The nut spread in the recipe helps the rice to stick together which, if you prefer, could be done just as well by reserving a little of the dip and mixing it through the rice.
Use your favourite dip as the layer above the leaves – ours is sweet potato and cashew dip. The dip gives a tasty creaminess to the salad, plus it helps hold the carrots and other long items in place.
In my view this salad is not complete without a toy animal or two wandering through the shrubbery. Here’s a tip (learned from bitter experience) – I suggest removing the animals after everyone has had a chance to admire the salad and before they start eating it.
Make the salad entirely from scratch using a home made dip, like the sweet potato and cashew dip in this post here, and making your own nut butter by blending lightly roasted almonds.