Monday, June 16, 2014

Rice Salad

I love renovating family recipes that were a favorite of mine when I was a kid.  Today, I was all set to make a copycat recipe of a Quinoa Salad I had at Caviar & Bananas in Charleston, when I started thinking about the rice salad my aunt used to make.  My plans for dinner changed when I found her rice salad recipe in my recipe binder.  There was no way I was going to make the recipe as is.  First off, it called for using bottled Italian dressing, which I don't use because I am a self-professed dressing snob.  I always make my own.  The second issue was that it called for artichoke hearts, which I detested as a kid and still don't like.  Now that I am making the recipe and not my aunt, bye-bye artichoke hearts.  :-)

My husband loved the rice salad and is taking the leftovers to work for lunch tomorrow.  My daughters enjoyed it too, but one of my girls left a little pile of olives behind on her plate.  :-)

Rice Salad


1 C basmati rice
1 C water
1/4 C extra virgin olive oil
3 T white balsamic vinegar
1 T fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp kosher salt
10 oz bag frozen sweet peas
1 large seedless cucumber or 2 medium pickling cucumbers (seeds removed)
1 can (6 oz) medium pitted black olives
1 1/2 T mayonnaise
1/4 tsp coarse ground black pepper


Combine the rice, water, olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, and kosher salt in a medium size pot, stir, and bring to a boil.  Stir again before covering with a tight-fitting lid, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes.  Remove the pot from the heat, and allow the rice to steam for 10 minutes with the lid still on.

While the rice is cooking, drain the olives and cut them into quarters.  Peel the cucumber and cut it into small pieces, about the size of the cut olives.

When the rice is done, fluff it with a fork, then put it in a large bowl with the frozen peas.  Add the olives, cucumbers, mayonnaise and pepper, then gently stir.

Chill the rice salad in the refrigerator for about an hour before serving.  Add more kosher salt to taste.

Serves 4 to 6

Recipe Notes

I used Lundberg California White Basmati Rice in this recipe.  My liquid to rice ratio and cooking directions are compatible with the rice I used.

Do not cook the peas before adding them to the rice.  They will defrost as you mix them with the warm rice.  I used a 10 oz bag of Publix GreenWise organic sweet peas.

You can use 1/2 cup of bottled Italian dressing instead of the olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, pepper, and salt.   I won't judge!  ;-)


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