Greek Rice Salad

This intense, punchy rice dish is packed with all the tastes of a Greek salad, with crispy vegetables, juicy tomatoes, fresh herbs, and salty feta cheese. Torn olives provide a fantastic texture and produce crevices to hold the rice, while a simple homemade red white wine vinaigrette includes the perfect amount of delicious zing to pull whatever together.

Regularly asked concerns
What is the best way to prepare rice?
For this recipe, the best method to cook rice is pasta-style, with the grains cooked in a big pot of boiling water till tender. This technique is ideal for lowering the rice’s starchiness and specifying each and every grain.

What should I serve with Greek Rice Salad?
This rice salad would be an excellent side for salmon or roasted chicken.

Note from the Food & Wine Test Kitchen
As rice sits it will re-firm. For a rice salad like this, perfectly al dente rice will in fact taste underdone and raw after sitting, so you wish to prepare the rice softer and more tender than you may believe.

Make ahead
The Greek Rice Salad can be prepared ahead of time and saved in an airtight container in the refrigerator for as much as 1 day. Bring the salad to space temperature before serving.

Suggested pairing
We like to match Greek Rice Salad with a minerally, coastal Greek white, such as Domaine Zafeirakis Tyrnavos Assyrtiko.

Cucumber, Tomato, Feta, and Fresh Herb Rice Salad

Active ingredients
12 cups water

1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided

1 1/2 cups uncooked long-grain white rice

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided

2 tablespoons finely sliced fresh mint, plus fresh mint leaves for garnish

1 tablespoon carefully chopped fresh oregano

1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half

1/3 cup red onion, sliced

3/4 cup torn pitted kalamata or Castelvetrano olives

2 medium Persian cucumbers (unpeeled), thinly sliced into half-moons (about 1 cup).

1/3 cup banana pepper rings, roughly chopped.

4 ounces Greek feta cheese, fallen apart (about 1 cup), divided.
Directions.
Bring 12 cups water and 1 tablespoon salt to a boil in a 4-quart pan over medium-high. Place rice in a medium bowl, and include cold water to cover. Wash rice, agitating grains using your hand, 10 to 15 seconds. Put off water, and clean one more time. Drain and wash rice under cold water in a fine wire-mesh strainer, 10 to 15 seconds. Drain pipes entirely, about 30 seconds.

Add drained rice to boiling water in saucepan; cook over medium-high, exposed, stirring periodically, till tender, 12 to 14 minutes. Drain pipes rice well, and spread evenly on a large rimmed baking sheet. Let cool slightly, about 10 minutes.

Blend together vinegar, mustard, garlic powder, black pepper, and 1 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Slowly blend in 1/4 cup oil till emulsified. Set aside.
Transfer cooled rice to a large bowl. Stir in chopped mint, sliced oregano, 1/4 cup vinaigrette, staying 1/4 cup oil, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add tomato mix, olives, cucumbers, banana peppers, and 3/4 cup feta cheese to rice mixture; toss to integrate.

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