#SundayCookingAdventures: Rice salad with peppers and roasted broccoli

2014-12-17 08.55.24


I have been making this salad for years to take to potlucks and other food gatherings because it’s a great crowd pleaser. It’s based on an old recipe from Jane Brody’s “Good Food Book.” The original calls for most of the vegetables to be left raw.

I found this a little hard to eat, so I’ve cooked most of the veggies, at least a little. I also sauteed the mushrooms in a little oil and butter to give them more flavor.

This is a really tasty salad. I usually double it and it disappears. You could even triple this recipe with no sacrifice in flavor (which yes, I did once for a party). Although you can use any kind of rice, I like to use brown, black or wild rice for the added fiber. For this recipe I used Lundberg Wild Blend Rice, which contains brown, black and wild rice.

You can really dress this salad up by lining a plate with lettuce and sprinkling cherry tomatoes around the salad. Plus, the freshness of the tomatoes and lettuce add to taste.

Here is the recipe as I’ve adapted it.

Rice salad


1 cup cooked rice, whatever kind you like.
2 heads broccoli, chopped and roasted*
8 ounces sliced mushrooms, sautéed in 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of oil
1 bell pepper (whatever color you like –- you could also use two, each a different color), sliced thin
1 can kidney or white beans (or whatever beans you like), drained and rinsed.
4-6 green onions, sliced
8 ounces of sugar snap peas or snow peas, blanched.

2 tablespoons white wine or rice vinegar (or whatever light vinegar you like)
4 tablespoons of fresh (NOT BOTTLED) lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon of dried mustard
1/2 teaspoon of black pepper (to taste)
1/2 teaspoon of salt (to taste — I don’t usually use salt, but found it helped this dressing)

1) Bring a large pot of water to boil for peas. Roast broccoli (or blanch or steam if you prefer). Set aside. While broccoli roasts and water for peas comes to a boil, prepare rice, but cook with chicken or vegetable broth (instead of water), and add two dried bay leaves to liquid while cooking. Discard bay leaves when rice is done.

2) While rice cooks (and broccoli roasts) add 1 tablespoon of oil and 1 tablespoon of butter to medium skillet on medium heat. Sautee mushrooms for about 15-20 minutes until soft. This takes a little while for mushrooms to absorb fat. Add another tablespoon of oil if they seem too dry (or butter, if you prefer).

3) Slice bell pepper(s) into thin strips. When mushrooms are done cooking, add peppers to skillet, stir, then turn off burner so peppers don’t cook all the way through. String and cut ends off peas. Put in boiling pot of water just until water comes back to a boil. Drain and throw peas in ice water bath to stop cooking. Remove from ice water after they are cool. (If they stay in too long they get soggy.) Slice green onions. Combine all ingredients, including beans, and peas in a bowl.

For dressing: Mix all ingredients in a jar. Shake until mixed. Pour into salad and mix.

This salad makes a very pretty presentation if you line a plate with lettuce, spread the salad out on it, then line the lettuce with cherry tomatoes.

*To roast broccoli: Chop broccoli into small, uniform pieces. Sprinkle with garlic powder and black pepper, put them on a baking sheet that was coated with cooking spray and roast on 400 degrees for 30 minutes. You could also steam or blanch them instead.)

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