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Mediterranean Rice Salad Recipe & Video

Easy Summer Salad Recipe, Delicious With Long Grain Brown Rice

Mediterranean Rice Salad

Mediterranean Rice Salad is one of our favorite easy summer recipes: With cooked rice on hand, this hearty meal-in-a-bowl is ready in minutes.

Check out the embedded video below the directions for a recipe demo.

This rice salad is perfect to make ahead and chill to serve later, or take to work or school. It also keeps well in the fridge for 2 - 3 days.

This is a big salad, although it's easy to make half the recipe. But we're always happy when there's some left over - rice salad tastes even better the next day!

Total Prep & Cook Time: 30 Min

Yield: 6 Servings:

Nutrition Data, 160g Serving: 343 cal, cal fr fat 130, 2g sat. fat, 46g carb, 15g fat, 338mg sodium, 5g fiber, 3g sugars, 8g protein, low Cholesterol, good source Vit A, C, K. Estimated glycemic load 28

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups cooked long grain brown rice (from 2 cups of raw rice)
  • 4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic or to taste, peeled and minced
  • 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped small
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil OR Italian flat leaf parsley
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  • 2 cups spinach leaves, washed, stemmed, and chopped (to save time use prewashed baby spinach)
  • 1 small cucumber, peeled and chopped small
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions (scallions or chives)
  • 1/2 cup pitted Kalamata or regular black olives, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts OR 1/2 cup toasted sunflower seeds (toast on a flat baking pan for 15 minutes at 250 degrees)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano leaf
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • Optional: 1/2 cup cooked black beans (canned or home cooked). If using canned beans, drain, rinse and then drain well in a sieve.
  • Optional: 1/4 - 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

Directions:

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  1. Make rice ahead of time and cool to room temperature
  2. Heat oil on medium in a fry pan, and saute minced garlic until soft but not browned (2 minutes).
  3. Add red peppers and saute with garlic until tender crisp (2 minutes)(tender crisp means half cooked)
  4. Add the spinach to the pan and stir until wilted
  5. Use a spatula to scrape the oil, garlic and red pepper into a large bowl
  6. Add the lemon juice to the fry pan and stir it around, then add it to the bowl
  7. Add salt, pepper and dried oregano leaf to the lemon and oil mixture
  8. Add rice to the bowl, and toss the rice with the olive oil mixture
  9. Stir chopped basil, cucumber, green onions, olives, toasted pine nuts or sunflower seeds, and optional black beans or feta cheese into the rice mixture
  10. Cover and let salad marinate for an hour before serving, in the fridge or not, as you like.
  11. Serve salad at room temperature or chilled.

Recipe Tips & Video:

No need to interrupt your summer fun to cook. Make this easy rice salad recipe ahead of time, when it's cool, and store it in the fridge until you're ready to eat it. Enjoy a quick and tasty summer meal anytime - or several meals for a small family!

Use white rice if you'd rather, but long grain brown rice is especially delicious in this salad recipe. The nutty chewy taste of the brown rice goes perfectly with the Mediterranean flavors and textures of fresh herbs, kalamata olives, summer vegetables, and olive oil.

Recipe Comments:

I just made this salad and it is truly DELICIOUS. I especially appreciate your directions, giving suggested minutes for the sautéing, and what a clever way to make the dressing. Seems more flavor is imparted this way - maybe because there is some heat when adding the rice. Anyway, just wanted you to know I think this is a winner and will make it again. This batch goes to a friend who just had knee surgery - Janiece P.

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