Friday, June 17, 2011

Summer is for Salads!

Now that the heat is here, I find the best thing to make for dinner is salad. I love salads because you can make a big bowl and eat it over a couple of days. If company appears at the doorstep - just throw in more vegetables to stretch the salad.

Here is the recipe for one of our family's favorite Salads: Mediterranean Rice Salad
I adapted this recipe from a Sunset recipe.

1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cup of long-grain rice
1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice or more
1/3 cup of olive oil
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 tsp of fresh oregano or more if you like
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
2 cups of fresh chopped spinach leaves
1 bell pepper, yellow orange or red diced
1 small cucumber, peeled, seeds removed, chopped finely
1/2 cup of chopped Kalamata olives
1 cup of crumbled feta cheese

1. Bring 2 1/2 cups of water to a boil. Add 1/2 tsp of salt to it. Add rice. Turn heat down to low. Put lid on and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove pot from burner and let the rice sit. I wrap the pot in a thick towel.

2. Whisk lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, herbs, pepper, and remaining salt. The original recipe called for 1.5 tsp of salt. Since we are trying to cut down on salt I use only 1/2 tsp or less. The feta cheese and olives usually have enough extra salt...

3. Fluff the rice with a fork. Add the rice to the dressing and mix it together gently. Add spinach, to the still warm rice and toss them together. The warm rice will wilt the spinach slightly. After the rice-spinach mix has completely cooled down add the remaining ingredients and toss again. 

If you like hot food you can throw in some hot red pepper flakes. Since our youngest doesn't like hot food, the rest of the family adds some pepper flakes individually to their salad servings.

This salad is great for parties and potlucks! You can serve it immediately after finishing it, when it's still a bit warm, or serve it cold from the refrigerator.


Katherine said...

I made this tonight! OMG delicious!

germandolls said...

I am glad you liked it! I have a few other recipes I will share soon...So keep your eyes peeled!