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Jeweled brown rice salad

Serves 4

This crunchy, chewy, flavorful salad makes a light supper with broiled chicken breasts and wilted spinach or Swiss chard.

1 cup of long- or short-grain brown rice
1 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons olive oil
Seeds of 1 medium-size pomegranate (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup whole, unblanched almonds, toasted until golden
1 yellow bell pepper, cored, seeded, and cut into fine matchsticks
1/3 cup freshly chopped parsley
4 scallions, thinly sliced on a diagonal
1 tablespoon red winevinegar
Salt and black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled

Notes:

1. Set the oven at 375 degrees. Spread the rice in an 8- or 9-inch square baking dish.

2. Bring the water to a boil and pour it over the rice. Cover the dish tightly with tin foil, transfer to oven, and bake for 1 hour or until all liquid has been absorbed.

3. Remove the rice from oven, carefully peel back the foil, and fluff the rice with a fork. Transfer to a large bowl and leave to cool.

4. Sprinkle the rice with oil and toss gently with 2 forks.

5. Add the pomegranate seeds, raisins, almonds, bell pepper, parsley, scallions, vinegar, salt, and black pepper. Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with feta.

Leigh Belanger

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