Lemon and Fresh Herb Rice Salad

Lemon and Fresh Herb Rice Salad

Lemon and Fresh Herb Rice Salad- Brown rice tossed with an easy homemade lemon dressing, fresh herbs, veggies and peanuts. It makes a light, flavorful and unique side dish that will surely be a crowd pleaser!
Brown rice tossed with an easy homemade lemon dressing, fresh herbs, veggies and peanuts. It makes a light, flavorful and unique side dish that will surely be a crowd pleaser!

“By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by USA Rice Federation and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.”

This light and flavorful Lemon and Fresh Herb Rice Salad is one of my favorite cold side dishes to make. It’s a perfect spring or summer salad to serve at your next party or potluck. I even enjoy just having a bowl for lunch.   

If you have an herb garden it is also a great way to use up some of your mint, basil and cilantro! I was so glad I was able to use up a bunch of our mint leaves. And not to mention all the citrus fruits my parents have been giving me from their trees.

I knew this recipe would be perfect to share for Recipe ReDux’s contest sponsored by the USA Rice Federation. In honor of March being National Nutrition Month, they are looking for nutritious and appetizing recipes made with U.S. grown rice.  U.S.-grown rice is easily found in most grocery stores and can be seen labeled as “Grown in the USA Rice” or shows the product origin as USA.

Lemon and Fresh Herb Rice Salad- Brown rice tossed with an easy homemade lemon dressing, fresh herbs, veggies and peanuts. It makes a light, flavorful and unique side dish that will surely be a crowd pleaser!

Rice can be a healthy, tasty and affordable foundation to your diet. Paired with lean meats, eggs, beans, vegetables or even fruit, rice is extremely versatile and comes in many forms! In my recipe, I used brown rice because of its high nutritional value and affordability. Plus I love its nutty flavor!

Here are a few health benefits of brown rice:

  • Gluten free and the least allergenic grain, making it a great option for those with a gluten intolerance
  • Low in fat (1.8 g/1 cup)
  • Has 5 g protein/ 1cup
  • Provides a generous dose of fiber due to it being a whole grain, reducing risk of many chronic illnesses
  • High in magnesium, vitamin B3, phosphorus, selenium and manganese
Lemon and Fresh Herb Rice Salad- Brown rice tossed with an easy homemade lemon dressing, fresh herbs, veggies and peanuts. It makes a light, flavorful and unique side dish that will surely be a crowd pleaser!
Mmmm just love all the flavors going on here!

To make this salad, start by cooking 2 cups of brown rice.

Meanwhile, combine olive oil with a strip of lemon rind and cook over medium heat until lemon is slightly browned, then remove from heat and allow to cool.

Prepare and chopped the herbs, veggies and peanuts.

To make the lemon dressing, whisk 2 juiced lemons, rice vinegar, brown sugar, cooled lemon oil and salt and pepper to taste. Add the sliced onion and let t marinate 15 min.

Toss all ingredients together in a large bowl with the dressing and garnish with any leftover ingredients on top if you want to make it even prettier   

Keep it in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Lemon and Fresh Herb Rice Salad- Brown rice tossed with an easy homemade lemon dressing, fresh herbs, veggies and peanuts. It makes a light, flavorful and unique side dish that will surely be a crowd pleaser!

Lemon and Fresh Herb Rice Salad
Yields 6
Brown rice tossed with an easy homemade lemon dressing, fresh herbs, veggies and peanuts. It makes a light, flavorful and unique side dish that will surely be a crowd pleaser!
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Ingredients
  1. 2 lemons
  2. 1/4 c. olive oil
  3. 2 cups US-grown brown rice, uncooked
  4. 2 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
  5. 2 tsp. brown sugar
  6. salt and pepper to taste
  7. 1/4 medium red onion, thinly sliced (or more if you love red onions!)
  8. 2 medium carrots, shredded
  9. 1 medium cucumber, diced
  10. 3/4 c. no added salt peanuts, chopped
  11. 1/2 c. fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  12. 1/2 c. fresh mint, roughly chopped
  13. 1/2 c. fresh basil, roughly chopped
  14. 2 c. fresh spinach, roughly chopped
Instructions
  1. Start by cooking 2 cups of brown rice.
  2. Meanwhile, combine the olive oil and 2 wide strips of lemon peel in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook until lemon is slightly browned, then remove from heat and allow to cool.
  3. Prepare the chopped the herbs, veggies and peanuts.
  4. Make the lemon dressing: whisk the juice of 2 lemons, rice vinegar, brown sugar, cooled lemon oil and salt and pepper to taste. Add the sliced onion and let it marinate about 15 min.
  5. Toss the carrots, cucumber, peanuts, herbs, spinach and rice in a large bowl. Add the dressing and gently toss. Garnish with any left over ingredients to make it even prettier 🙂
  6. Keep it in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Notes
  1. I was going to try adding thinly sliced radishes but completely forgot. I bet it would make a nice addition!
Adapted from Food Network Magazine, May 2012
Adapted from Food Network Magazine, May 2012
Peas of Cake http://peasofcake.net/
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