Lemon-Herb Rice Salad

27 05 2012

This citrus rice salad has bright and fresh flavor, and is an easy side dish to serve along with beef, chicken or seafood, such as shrimp. Serving it at room temperature makes for a great side dish to bring to cookouts or potlucks in the spring or summer too!

Lemon-Herb Rice Salad

The following serves 6 (compliments of Food Network Magazine):

  • 2 lemons
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups long-grain white rice
  • 2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp packed light brown sugar
  • Kosher salt and ground pepper
  • 1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium carrot, shredded
  • 1 seedless cucumber, diced
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped
  • 1 bunch watercress, tough stems removed, leaves torn (I used a  few good handfuls of arugula instead)

Remove 2 wide strips zest from 1 lemon with a vegetable peeler. Combine 1 strip zest with the vegetable oil in a small saucepan over medium heat and cook until the edges of the zest turn slightly golden, about 5 minutes. Let the lemon oil cool.

Meanwhile, cook the rice according to the package directions, adding the remaining strip lemon zest to the water. Transfer rice to a large bowl, discarding the zest and fluff with a fork. Let cool to room temperature.

While the rice cooks, make the dressing: Juice both lemons into a medium bowl. Add the vinegar, brown sugar, 1 and 1/4 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper and whisk until the sugar dissolves. Discard the zest from the lemon oil, then whisk the oil into the dressing. Add the onion slices and let marinate 15 minutes.

Add the carrot, cucumber, cilantro, mint, basil and watercress or arugula to the bowl with the rice. Add the dressing and toss well.




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