Prep 20 mins
Cook 4 hrs
My mom often made this delicious (and easy!) cold rice salad for picnics when I was a kid back in the 80's. It was always one of my favorites! I've doctored it up over the years, and here is my version. I use brown rice and Lite Italian dressing (or a homemade vinaigrette) to make it more figure-friendly, but its still as tasty. Try adding additional vegetables or various fruits and nuts - depending on your favorite flavors and combinations. Cook time is fridge time. And this recipe is written for four, but it can be easily tweaked to make for a party or even as a quick side dish for dinner for two. My family loves it! (Even my 2-year old). I hope you all do, too.
- 2 cups uncooked rice (brown rice works as well as white in this recipe!)
- 1 (14 1/2 ounce) can low sodium chicken broth (or the flavor of your choice)
- 1⁄3 cup imitation bacon bits
- 3 -5 green onions, depending on size of the onions & your taste, sliced into rounds (including the green tops)
- 2 small carrots, sliced into thin coins (or 1 large one)
- 1 stalk celery, chopped fine
- 1⁄3 cup romaine lettuce, cut into small bite-size strips
- 1 cup Italian dressing (may use more or less, according to your taste)
- fresh lemon juice
- fresh parsley
- fresh ground pepper
- Cook rice according to package directions, substituting broth for water.
- Once rice is finished - while still warm, mix with green onions (to wilt them a little), a squeeze of lemon juice, and dressing.
- After cooled, add in the rest of the veggies & sprinkle with bacon bits (and nuts, if using). Toss well.
- Let set in the fridge for a few hours before serving so the flavors can meld together. Best if settled overnight. The longer the salad rests, the better it is!
- Serve on top of a bed of lettuce & garnish with fresh parsley and ground pepper.
- *(Salt can be added, although I've found that the bacon bits and Italian dressing are enough for us!).
- *Red peppers, sliced mushrooms, cucumbers, grape tomatoes, frozen thawed peas or the sugar snap variety, raisins, mandarin oranges, and toasted pecans or almonds would make great additions to this salad. I prefer the original, but add whatever you like!
I chose this recipe for My-3-Chefs 2008. It was a nice, light summer side dish...reminded me a bit of pasta salad, only with rice! Next time I think I'll add a bit less dressing, or use a light italian as Marcy does...it was a bit salty for some people's taste, but it was still lovely. Thanks!