This Mediterranean Veggies and Brown Rice Salad is sponsored by Lotus Foods.
This Mediterranean Veggies and Brown Rice Salad is a perfect party side or to pack for lunches!
I love making meals out of yummy side dishes. The sides are always the best part! We are combining brown rice with chickpeas, lots of fresh veggies and a yummy vinaigrette. I love all the Mediterranean flavors and I especially like that this makes great lunch leftovers!
Let’s Talk Rice!
Maybe because I was born with rice in my veins, I just have this special affinity for this warming and satisfying grain. I particularly love brown rice for its added fiber, flavor and hearty texture.
For this dish, I selected Lotus Foods Organic Brown Basmati Rice. It cooks up perfectly and adds just the right texture and flavor to this dish. Basmati rice is known for its aroma and flavor which works perfectly with the Mediterranean flavors.
I cook my rice in my Instant Pot and it always comes out perfectly. For brown rice, you use a ratio of 1:1 and cook it for 22 minutes on high pressure. I let it naturally release for 10 minutes. If you don’t have an Instant Pot, no worries! Just follow the directions on the side of the bag.
Some Veggie Ins and Outs
While your rice is cooking, start chopping up all your veggies. Cut them to your desired shape and size. I find smaller sizes are my preference, but you do you! You will be slicing up fresh cherry tomatoes, the sweeter the better for this recipe. I love the ones that are still on the vine. I find the flavor is super balanced, not too acidic and they have the best texture.
If you don’t have a shallot, you can finely chop some red onion instead. For the artichoke hearts, I used a variety that comes in a jar in brine. For the fresh thyme, I pull the leaves off or chop them off the woody stems using a small knife. You can also substitute dried thyme.
I love to hit the olive bar at our local grocery store to get the olives. They always have so many varieties to try and its nice to mix and match them.
I find that if you finely grate the garlic, you don’t end up with large, somewhat spicy chunks in your salad. I use a fine zester/grater like this one, as shown in the below photo. Be sure you are very careful while grating or use a glove.
Let’s make a quick dressing!
First, add the dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Then whisk them together until combined.
Meanwhile, check on your rice. Once it’s done, fluff it and let is cool about halfway before adding it to your veggies. Stir the rice and veggies together and drizzle the dressing on top. Stir to throughly incorporate and enjoy! Store any leftovers in the fridge for up to five days. Serve leftovers with additional fresh lemon as needed. The flavor of the lemon will lessen over time, therefore the need to add a bit more fresh lemon as needed.
Hope you guys enjoy this one!
If you love Mediterranean flavors, check out these Easy Mediterranean Lunch Bowls. They only take 20 minutes to make!
Mediterranean Veggies and Brown Rice Salad
- 1 ½ cups brown basmati rice
- 1 ½ -2 ½ cups plus 2 tablespoons water, depending on cooking method
- 1 (15.5 ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 2 cups parsley, chopped
- 1 shallot, finely diced
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
- ½ cucumber, diced
- 1 cup artichoke hearts, chopped
- ½ cup kalmata and green olives, sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, finely grated or minced
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, or ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup lemon juice, approximately 2 lemons
- 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ¾ kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- Cook the brown rice per package instructions. If using an instant pot, add the rice to an instant pot, add 1 1/2 cups of water. Secure the lid, and flip the valve to “sealing.” Select manual, high pressure and set for 22 minutes. If cooking Lotus Food Organic Brown Basmati Rice per package instructions, combine 2 1/2 cup and 2 tablespoons water with 1 1/2 cups rice and a pinch of salt in a medium pot. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cover, reduct heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from heat. Let stand covered for a few minutes. Fluff before using.
- While your rice is cooking, chop all veggies and whisk together the dressing in a small bowl.
- Once your rice is cooked and fluffed, let it cool about halfway.
- Add the rice to your chopped veggies and stir thoroughly. Add dressing and stir to combine.
- Store leftovers in the fridge in a covered container for up to 5 days.