I’ve been on a bit of a Meditteranean kick. I’m trying to health up the rest of the summer, at least until Labor Day comes. Besides it’s August and it’s hot and it’s humid (whine whine whine) and I want to eat (and cook) cool and light. And so I made Greek Brown Rice Salad to go with my
soon to be posted Spicy Beef & Feta Skewers.
I just did a post for Horiatiki Greek Salad not too long ago. Gosh, that was good. And I wanted to carry some of those flavors forward with a little twist. Funny how I listed so many variations of our American Style Greek Salads, but I didn’t mention or think about combining it with rice, let alone brown rice.
About Greek Brown Rice Salad:
Greek Brown Rice Salad is just kind of fun. I always like using chewy, nutty brown rice in recipes, even if I’m not totally sold on all of the health benefits. Honestly, I don’t eat so much rice that I worry about the nutritional differences. But that Brown Rice is such a perfect foil for the vinegary, herby and fresh Greek notes in this dish.
The rest of the ingredients are the tomatoes, the cucumber, red onion and olives (if you didn’t run out like I did!) and a good handful of parsley or mint, your choice. As I made this dish, I thought *duh* if I hadn’t scarfed down all my Greek Salad, I could have just combined it with this rice! So this is a great dish to use up any leftover Greek Salad, too.
I came up with the idea for this salad from a post by BBC Goodfood. I just amplified the flavors a bit and tweaked a few of the ingredients. And of course, gave it our American measurements. You can do the same and change it up however you’d like; it’s so versatile. I kept thinking how good this salad would be with couscous or maybe quinoa. And how good it would be for meal prep.
Making Greek Brown Rice Salad:
You might notice I just posted my Instant Pot Brown Rice, primarily because I needed it for this salad. Guys, I never want to make brown rice any other way! But if you don’t have an Instant Pot, consider baking your brown rice. Take a look at my recipe for Vibrant Vegetarian Casserole for directions. There’s that oven thing, though, in August. Bummer. Or simmer it according to package directions.
The rest of the very few ingredients are just easy, peasy. Riff on this and add more or less of anything as you’d like. Maybe you’ll want to toss in some olives (I would have if I had them, and the original recipe called for it) or capers.
I’ve served my Greek Brown Rice Salad with Spicy Beef & Feta Skewers, but add Feta cheese to your Greek Brown Rice Salad if you’d like to turn your Greek Brown Rice Salad into a Main Dish Salad as a Vegetarian Meal. Maybe add more of the veggies, too. Those Spicy Beef & Feta Skewers are
coming up next!Done!I don’t mean to tease you with the photos and then leave you hanging! I just didn’t think to take pics of the Greek Brown Rice Salad by itself.
Saving Money on Greek Brown Rice Salad:
I went on in detail on getting the most bang for your buck on many of the ingredients in this salad, which are pretty much the same as those in my Horiatiki Greek Salad on my Greek Salad post so I won’t repeat that today. I didn’t talk about the olives, vinegar, brown rice or citrus, though.
Brown rice is truly an item I rarely see on sale. I buy it in the bags, rather than the box. If your store sells it in the bulk bins, check and compare the price per pound. Any brown rice works in this recipe but the long grain is a bit nicer, imho. Vinegar does go on sale periodically; best prices are usually around Easter when not only basic vinegar is on sale but often the fancier ones. As far as citrus, as long as the lemon (or other fruit) looks fresh, don’t be too concerned about color. Pick up several, weigh them in your hand and choose the ones that feel heavy for their size. They’ll be the juiciest ones.
Olives can be tricky – sometimes I’ll see them on sale, usually around holidays. I always take a peak in any bins or shelves or carts of specialty food items that are marked down for a quick sale. They might be close to the “use by” or “best if used by” dates which really have no true meaning. They’re placed on the bottles by the producers. If I can’t find a decent price, olives are one of the items that might be a better price at a salad bar – you might need a calculator to figure it out, though!
Greek Brown Rice Salad
- 1 cup brown rice (raw) cooked according to package directions or follow directions for Instant Pot Brown Rice
- 1/4 red onion finely sliced
- 1/2 cucumber, peeled or partially peeled or not peeled, your choice, diced about 1/2″
- 1 or two tomatoes, seeded and chopped into 1″ chunks, plus any juices
- 1/4 cup kalamata olives, pitted and halved, optional
- small handful of parsley or mint, chopped (to taste)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- juice of 1 lemon plus an additional lemon for serving, if desired
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- salt to taste
- Sliced green onions as an additional garnish, optional
Mix together the brown rice, red onion, cucumber, tomatoes, olives if using and parsley or mint. In a small bowl, whisk olive oil, lemon and red wine vinegar. Add to the rice mixture. Add salt to taste.
Serve warm, room temperature or cold. Garnish with additional lemon and sliced green onion.
Note: Add Feta cheese for a main dish salad.