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mediterranean rice salad recipeI’ll say it out loud, this not the most attractive salad that I have ever made.  But it is so delicious that I would never dream of making Greek Feast without it.  It is usually one of the last things that people go for when there is a table food of delicious Greek inspired fare, but it the one that people cannot stop eating long after they are full.  It has complex flavors. Sweet and spicy.  Crunchy and soft.  And then a burst of freshness from the herbs and cirtus.  The dressing for this salad would be amazing on a simple green salad as well.  I make this the day ahead of time as it only gets better as it sits.

*This recipe is adapted from Cooks Country magazine.*

TIPIf you are having children at your party, make sure that there is food that is suitable for children to eat.  I try to feed the children first and have them fed and working on dessert while the adults are eating.  A popsicle or a bowl of ice cream can work wonders when you are trying to actually chew your food.  I also usually leave small bowls of kids snacks out for when the children arrive.  Goldfish, dried fruits, cheese cubes, sliced fruit and veggies are good for children to nibble on before dinner.

mediterranean rice salad recipe1 cup basmati rice (or any other long grain rice)
salt
2 1/2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
2 Tablespoons fresh orange juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
salt
pepper
4 chopped green onions
1/2 cup dried currants
3/4 cup shelled pistachios or almonds (or a combination of both)
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

mediterranean rice salad recipeToast the rice in a dry saute pan over medium heat until the rice is opaque and you begin to smell the rice.

mediterranean rice salad recipeAdd the rice and a 2 teaspoons salt to 4 quarts of boiling water.  Boil uncovered for about 8 minutes or until the rice is tender.  Drain the rice and spread out on a lined cookie sheet to cool completely.

mediterranean rice salad recipeWhisk together the the oil, juices and spices.

mediterranean rice salad recipeAdd salt and pepper to taste.

mediterranean rice salad recipeAdd the nuts, currants, and some of the parsley and green onions.  Save some for garnish.

mediterranean rice salad recipeToss with the cooled rice and let stand for at least 20 minutes.  Taste again to check for seasonings before you serve.  This can be made 1 day ahead of time.  Bring it back to room temperature before you serve.  There is one more thing that I serve with my Greek Feast menu.  Check back tomorrow and see what it is.

Mediterranean Rice Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 cup basmati rice (or any other long grain rice)
  • salt
  • 2 1/2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 4 chopped green onions
  • 1/2 cup dried currants
  • 3/4 cup shelled pistachios or almonds (or a combination of both)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Instructions

  1. Toast the rice in a dry saute pan over medium heat until the rice is opaque and you begin to smell the rice.
  2. Add the rice and a 2 teaspoons salt to 4 quarts of boiling water. Boil uncovered for about 8 minutes or until the rice is tender. Drain the rice and spread out on a lined cookie sheet to cool completely.
  3. Whisk together the the oil, juices and spices.
  4. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Add the nuts, currants, and some of the parsley and green onions. Save some for garnish.
  6. Toss with the cooled rice and let stand for at least 20 minutes. Taste again to check for seasonings before you serve. This can be made 1 day ahead of time. Bring it back to room temperature before you serve.
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15 Responses to Mediterranean Rice Salad

  1. Surcie says:

    Sounds great. I’m so excited to try this out!

  2. Memoria says:

    Well, I think this rice salad looks gorgeous!! I would have to make this without the nuts or currants, but I still it think it would be delicious. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

  3. Foxy says:

    The salad sounds very yummy although I do have to agree it doesn’t look that pretty, but then I don’t think currents even can…

    in your little note about kids snacks you mention goldfish, can I ask what these are? I am wondering if it is an American thing (I am an Aussie) and I am curious.

    • bakedbree says:

      Goldfish are little cheese crackers shaped like fish. They are really small. Like the size of a coin. They are pretty standard kid snack food in these parts. Where in Australia are you? What snack foods do Australian kids eat?

  4. Natalie says:

    The rice salad looks delicious. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  5. Jacqui Hyland says:

    I wanted to make a rice salad for a birthday dinner for my mom. Found this recipe and decided to give it a go. Made it the night before so the flavors would have to time to develop (I watch alot of Top Chef!). Was super easy to make and OMG so delicious. Everyone loved and asked for the recipe. This will be my new go-to salad for any summer party I am invited to. Thank you.

  6. Danielle says:

    How many people would you say this recipe serves, I’m cooking for a party of 4. Thanks!

  7. Billy says:

    I made this last night for a Kabob party with some friends and it was an absolute hit! Thank you for this amazing recipe! I was blown away on how well the flavors complimented each other!

  8. Barbara says:

    Thank you! I made this for a dinner party. Added some finely chopped celery & red pepper. Used juice from 1/2 an orange & chopped up the other half. Used cilantro instead of parsley. We all loved it! Even my husband who usually only likes his rice “plain”.

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