Brown Rice Salad with Basil Vinaigrette
Brown Rice Salad with Basil Vinaigrette is an old favorite, and even though I rarely eat rice, I’d make this for a special occasion.
One summer recipe I’ve made over and over is Basil Vinaigrette, and there are endless ways to use this tasty dressing. While I was unpacking from the move I found this old favorite recipe for Brown Rice Salad with Basil Vinaigrette in a set of binders with recipes I’d clipped from cooking magazines *many* years ago. The salad was called Roman Rice Salad, but unfortunately I didn’t write down where I found it, and I couldn’t find anything with that name online.
I’ve made this salad many, many times through the years and I loved this updated version with brown rice, fresh chopped basil, and rings of pepper from sweet mini-peppers. I took the salad to a party at my friend Mary’s house, where it was a side dish to a lovely meal of Greek food, but this will be a hit any time you serve it for a side dish!
How to Make Brown Rice Salad with Basil Vinaigrette:
(Scroll down for complete recipe with nutritional information.)
- If you don’t have Basil Vinaigrette, make that first. I loved being able to pick the basil from my window-sill herb garden! If you’re using garden basil, give it a good wash in the salad spinner.
- I chopped the basil in the bowl attachment of my immersion blender, but you can chop it with a knife if you prefer.
- Then I added the vinaigrette to the immersion blender bowl and processed a little more until the basil was finely chopped in the dressing.
- I cooked the brown rice in my much beloved Zojirushi Rice Cooker (affiliate link) but if you don’t have a rice cooker just follow package directions to get 4 cups of cooked brown rice. I always use Uncle Ben’s Brown Rice (affiliate link).
- Take the frozen peas out out and let them thaw on the counter while you cook the rice.
- VERY important, as soon as the rice is cooked fluff it in a bowl so it will cool down while you prep the other ingredients.
- If I’d been smart I would have bought some pre-sliced olives, but I just drained a can of regular black olives and sliced them in thickish slices.
- If you don’t have these sweet mini-peppers, just use a red bell pepper, finely chopped, but I did think the pepper slices looked nice in the salad. Cut off the stem end, pull out the seeds, and then slice the mini-peppers into rings.
- When green peas are thawed, let them drain well. Peas are high in carbs, so use less peas if you prefer.
- Combine the sliced olives, peas, and mini-pepper rings in a bowl and mix with enough dressing to coat all the veggies.
- Then gently mix in the rice and grated Parmesan cheese, season to taste with salt and fresh-ground black pepper, and serve. The salad can also be chilled for a few hours before serving.
More Ideas with Basil Vinaigrette:
Grilled Zucchini Caprese Stacks
Summer Tomato Salad with Goat Cheese
Barely-Steamed Asparagus with Basil Vinaigrette
Artichoke Antipasto Salad
Tomato, Hearts of Palm, Olive, and Feta Salad
Grilled Halibu with Basil Vinaigrette
- 1 1/2 cups long-grain brown rice (see notes)
- one 6 oz. can black olives, drained and thickly sliced
- 6 sweet mini-peppers, sliced (see notes)
- 12 oz. frozen peas, thawed and drained well
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- salt and fresh-ground black pepper to taste
- 2/3 cup purchased or homemade vinaigrette dressing (see notes)
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil
- Take the green peas out of the freezer and let them thaw on the counter.
- Cook the brown rice according to package directions or using a rice cooker.
- While rice cooks, make the dressing. If you’re using garden basil, give it a good wash and spin dry with a salad spinner.
- Chop the basil, either with a knife or using a food processor or the bowl attachment of an immersion blender.
- Add the vinaigrette dressing and process a little more so the basil is finely chopped and well-mixed into the dressing.
- As soon as the rice is done, put it in a large bowl and fluff well with a fork so the rice will cool while you prep other ingredients.
- While rice cools, drain the black olives well and slice (or just drain the sliced olives if you’re using those.)
- Cut off ends of the sweet mini-peppers, pull out seeds, and slice into rings.
- Drain the peas well (blot dry with a paper towel if they still seem wet.)
- In a bowl large enough to hold all the salad, combine the sliced olives, sweet mini-pepper rings, and drained peas.
- Mix in enough dressing so all the vegetables are coated with dressing.
- Then gently mix in the brown rice and Parmesan, adding more dressing as needed.
- Season salad with salt and fresh-ground black pepper to taste and serve.
- The salad can also be chilled for a few hours before serving.
I used Uncle Ben's Brown Rice (affiliate link) for this salad. You need 4 cups cooked brown rice. If you don't have or use mini pepers use 1 red bell pepper, chopped. I used Le Parisien Vinaigrette, which might be hard to find if you’re not in Utah, but any creamy low-sugar vinaigrette will work.
This is not bad when it sits overnight in the fridge, but it’s best freshly made.
Recipe adapted from “Roman Rice Salad” found years ago in a cooking magazine.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 190Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 3mgSodium: 609mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 4gSugar: 6gProtein: 5g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.
Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
Since peas are relatively high in sugar (for a vegetable) and the salad also has brown rice, it wouldn’t be suitable for low-carb diets, and it’s probably be best for Phase 3 of the original South Beach Diet, or a once-in-a-while treat for Phase 2. If you want a lower-carb salad, use less peas and rice and more olives, peppers, and Parmesan.
Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Salad Recipes to find more recipes like this one. Use the Diet Type Index to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You can also Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.