On today’s show, Evan speaks with Jeanne Kelley, whose Salad for Dinner includes a range of veggie-based meals.
Kelley shared her Brown Rice Grape Leaf Salad, which is based on Mediterranean dolmas.
Read below for the recipe.
Brown Rice Grape Leaf Salad
(From Jeanne Kelley’s Salad for Dinner)
The best flavors and textures of a good dolma—a Mediterranean stuffed grape leaf mezze—combine in a salad that is more fun to make and eat than the individually stuffed appetizer. Grape leaves packed in brine are available at Middle Eastern markets or online. In a pinch, you could substitute a couple of tablespoons of rinsed and finely chopped capers to mimic the mild pickle-y taste of the grape leaves. I serve the rice salad on a bed of greens, but it’s also a great side on its own.
1 cup brown rice, rinsed, or 10.5-ounce package fully cooked brown rice
½ teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided
½ cup currants
½ cup dry-roasted shelled pistachios or toasted pine nuts
1/3 cup finely chopped rinsed and drained brined grape leaves, about 12
¼ cup thinly sliced green onions
½ cup crumbled feta cheese, about 1 ½ ounces
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons minced fresh dill
2 tablespoons minced fresh mint
6 cups arugula or mixed greens
1 1/3 cups (about) plain Greek yogurt
If using uncooked rice: Bring 2 cups water to a boil in a heavy medium saucepan. Add the rice and ½ teaspoon kosher salt. Return the water to a boil and reduce heat to very low. Cover and simmer until the rice is tender and the water is absorbed, about 40 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, 5 minutes. Transfer the rice to a bowl and stir in 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon lemon juice and let cool to room temperature.
If using packaged rice: Place the rice in a large microwave-safe bowl. Add 1 tablespoon water. Cover and microwave on high 1 minute or until rice softens. Mix in 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon lemon juice.
Stir the currants, nuts, chopped grape leaves, green onions, feta, cilantro, dill, and mint into the cooled rice.
In a separate large bowl, toss the arugula with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Season the greens to taste with salt. Divide the greens among 4 plates and top with the rice salad, dividing evenly. Spoon a dollop of yogurt alongside the salad; garnish with lemon wedges and serve.