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
  • 2½ Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 4 chopped green onions
  • ½ cup dried currants
  • ¾ cup shelled pistachios or almonds (or a combination of both)
  • ¼ 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.