Friday, May 27, 2011

Jamie's Wild Rice Salad--Perfect for a Healthy Summer Meal

We are Mad About Herbs at I Heart Cooking Clubs this week, making dishes that feature fresh and fabulous herbs. I wanted something simple, healthy and meat-free so I chose the Rice Salad from "Jamie's Food Revolution." It has a medley of finely chopped basil, mint and parsley and features the lemon dressing from the same book. Since I am still eating vegan (although my 28-Day Engine 2 Challenge finished up this week, I am keeping most of it going for another month and just adding back in a little much missed olive oil), I wanted to make the salad a little more substantial. A can of organic brown lentils adds fiber, iron and some protein, and a sprinkle of pine nuts add crunch and vitamin E and antioxidants.

Jamie says, "Ready-prepared rice salad, like potato-salad and coleslaw, is really popular but largely miserable and bland. Have a go at this recipe and you won't go back to buying containers from the grocery store. First feel free to play with different rice grains--they have a variety of tastes, colors, and textures, which can be a bonus in a rice salad, so have a look around when you're shopping. The big thing to remember, though, is to use good olive oil, a touch of lemon juice, and to get some spice and sweetness into the salad with chiles and roasted red bell peppers (you can use sun-dried tomatoes if you don't have any peppers). You'll have a salad that looks and tastes great. Best eaten at room temperature rather than straight from the refrigerator."

Wild Rice Salad

Adapted from "Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution"
(Serves 4-6)

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/4 cups mixed long grain and wild rice (I used a mix called Whole Grain 5 Blend from the Whole Foods bulk bins)
a few sprigs of fresh basil
a few sprigs of fresh mint
a few sprigs of fresh parsley
8 oz roasted red peppers from a jar or deli counter
1/2 a fresh red or green chile (I added a whole small red chile)
1/4 cup lemon dressing (see recipe below)
1 lemon
(I added one (15 oz) can of lentils and 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts)

Bring a large pan of salted water to a boil. Add the rice and cook it according to the package instructions.
Once cooked, drain the rice in a strainer and spread it out on a tray to help it cool down quickly.

Meanwhile, pick all the herb leaves off the stalks. Finely chop the bell peppers. Halve, seed, and finely chop your chile. Make your lemon dressing. Put your cooked rice in a big serving bowl. Finely chop your herb leaves and add them to the bowl, together with the bell peppers and chile. Zest over your lemon, add the dressing, and mix well. Taste, add salt and pepper if you think it needs it, and serve.


Lemon Dressing:
Put 6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil into a jam jar with a pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Squeeze in the juice of 1 lemon. Put the lid on the jar and shake well.

Notes/Results: Excellent--this is a tasty blend of flavor, texture and color. The combination of the tangy lemon dressing with the sweet pepper works well. I ended up using my whole red chile pepper so that it had a nice little kick in each bite. I liked the slightly dense, chewiness of the brown and wild rice mix and the added lentils make it satisfying without being heavy. Good for a potluck, as a side dish for a summer meal, or perfect on its own as a light lunch salad. I will make this again.

Go over to the IHCC site to see how everyone got "Mad About Herbs" this week.

Happy Aloha Friday and have a safe and happy Memorial Day Weekend!


  1. This is such a good and herby pick! I almost went with this one too, but I have trouble finding wild rice at times. I love that you ramped it up with the lentils.

    Hooray for having olive oil again!It will surely make things easier.

  2. I'm not a fan of rice salad but this looks something else! Yum!

  3. Since this is the summer of my herbs, I am sooo adding this to my list.

    And I have an entry for SS this week, I WILL email you :)

  4. Going veg can definitely get addictive once you get started! although olive oil is a MUST! This rice salad looks delicious. Bursting with flavor!

  5. Awesome fridge salad! Perfect to have on hand for snacking and lunches.
    Yeah, I would have missed olive oil.. ☺

  6. Love the addition of the lentils, the salad looks amazing!

  7. Great looking salad. And good pick for herb week!

  8. I love your additions...and I really, really wish we had a whole foods around here...or at least a bulk bin with that five grain blend. This was a delicious choice!

  9. Looks great. Was it as good the next day? Next few days? Even if eaten from the fridge? I'm the only one here eating this kind of salad so I'm hoping it would keep a few days.

  10. Never added mint with lemon in à Rice dish, you got me curious about this one.....

  11. Oh, I am definitely bookmarking this one. I love the idea of the roasted red peppers, and the combination of herbs, and I love your addition of the lentils and pine nuts. The lemon dressing sounds perfect with this too.
    Sue xo

  12. I'm bookmarking this! Sounds delish and I will definitely be making this in your version. :)


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