It's full on salad season! Time to break out the barbecue and whip up some refreshing salads because summer is here. This Tangy Vegetable Rice Salad is put together in no time at all and can be made in advance for easy dinners or entertaining.
Before I get into the food today, I just want to point out that I am still around here on the blog. Just been a bit going on the personal front and there's not been a whole lot of time for blog writing and recipe creating. Don't worry, I'm not disappearing and woke up this morning feeling somewhat refreshed and ready to get back into the food. I have so many ideas for new recipes to come that I don't know where to start..ha! I am thinking full on summer recipes from grilling, to cool treats and refreshing salads. Let's get summer ready!
When I think of summer time I always think of easy cooking and easy eating. To be completely honest, when it's so hot around here I don't often have much of an appetite to eat nevertheless cook. However, this year we are having a slow lead into summer. To the point where I am still making soup and roasting stuff in the oven. Usually by mid June (let's face it that is just a few days away), I am in full on sandwich, salad and barbecue mode. This year, not so much.
In fact, yesterday was the first day of the season that we dined out on the patio. Unheard of for southern Spain this time of year. Okay, I have probably been a bit lazy and unmotivated in getting the patio summer ready for eating. But yesterday I felt inspired to clean away the cobwebs and dust off the furniture so we could enjoy a proper barbecue al fresco! And it reminded me that I am looking forward to summer and all that it entails. Ummm, okay maybe not the overwhelming crowds and the flesh melting heat. But summer, yes, bring it on!
Which brings me to this salad which is perfect for summer. It's has a fresh tangy bite that you just can't beat on one of those flesh melting days. And we all know those days are coming.
I think any kind of rice salad deserves a spot on the summer dining or picnic table. What's great about these salads is that you can make them in advance and just forget about them until you are ready to eat. In fact, this salad is best made in advance and then served later. You will see in the recipe below that the chill time is one hour. This is quite important for this recipe as you want the rice and vegetables completely marinaded in the vinaigrette for the best flavour. And if you have time, make it in the morning or even the night before.
As for the ingredients in the salad, they are probably all optional. You know me and substitution. I make a lot of varieties of rice salad throughout the summer months and always just use what I have in the fridge. You got to love a good "clean out the fridge meal". Am I not wrong?
However, I think the celery and cucumber is probably essential. All he rest is up for grabs. I had alfalfa on hand when I made this salad so added it at the end just for a bit more flavour. Now I know that alfalfa has a pretty strong flavour that many people don't care for too much. Don't be put off the salad because of this, just leave it out if you don't like it. Personally, I love it and thought it added a great touch to this salad.
Okay friends that about it for now. Get summer ready and break out the salads. Happy cooking as always!
Tangy Vegetable Rice Salad
Serves 8 / Prep time: 15 minutes / Cook time: 15 minutes / Chill time: 1 hour
1 Cup/185 grams of Basmati rice
1 Red pepper, diced
1 Italian green peppers, diced
1/2 Red onion, diced
2 Celery ribs, diced
1 Cucumber, peeled and diced
1 Spring onion, finely diced
Handful of fresh arugula
1/2 Cup/20 grams alfalfa
1/4 Cup/60 ml olive oil plus 1 tablespoon
1/4 Cup/60 ml white wine vinegar
Juice of one lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
Bunch of fresh parsley, finely chopped
In a medium saucepan, add the rice to 2 cups/480 ml of boiling water. Stir, reduce heat to low and cover. Leave to cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, fluff with a fork and leave to cool.
In a small bowl make the marinade by combing the olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Stir and set aside.
In a large salad bowl add the peppers, red onion, celery, cucumber, 1/2 of the spring onion and cooled rice. Pour over the marinade and stir well. Refrigerate for at least one hour.
Remove from refrigerator and add the fresh arugula, parsley and alfalfa. Stir and top with remaining spring onion. Will keep in the refrigerator up to two days.
Click the downloadable link below to print recipe!
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