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