Vegetable and Brown Rice Salad with Honey Lemon Dressing in a red bowl

When I ask what I can bring to a party, or when someone asks me, there are usually three main categories at play:  appetizer, side dish, and dessert.

A Vegetarian Brown Rice Salad

This is the vegetarian side dish you’re always looking for when you’re hosting a crowd, or asked to bring something to a potluck.  This rice salad is easy, healthy, flexible and PRETTY.  Really really pretty.

We do love a side dish that brings deliciousness and visual appeal while being able to withstand a car trip. Even a bumpy car trip.  And one that does all of this without breaking the bank.  I think this entire brown rice salad, which serves 10, could be produced for about 6 bucks worth of ingredients.  Not too shabby (and no need to share this piece of info with your guests).

Vegetable and Brown Rice Salad with Honey Lemon Dressing in a red bowl with smaller servings on the side

What Type of Brown Rice to Use

There are a number of brown rice varieties easily available these days, from brown basmati to brown jasmine, and of course plain regular brown rice works out just perfectly.  Use any type that suits you (or that’s in your pantry).

close up of Vegetable and Brown Rice Salad

 

You might alway try other grains in place of the rice, such as quinoa, or bulgur or farro or wheat berries.  Farro and wheat berries are denser, so I would say 2 cups of those grains to the same amount of vegetables would be smart. This way the salad won’t get heavy.  Or double the amount of vegetables and stick with the 4 cups of grains, either way.

 

spooning up grain salad to serve

 

If you have another vinaigrette recipe you’re into, there is no reason not to try it here, instead of the honey lemon dressing below.  The bit of sweetness from the honey plays really well against the very earthy ingredients in this rice salad, so if you can incorporate that, all the better.

Super Flexible Recipe

And of course, the chorus of most contemporary food writing, feel free to change up the vegetables (and herbs) according to what is in season, and whatever you have on hand.  Just keep thinking about color and texture, and whatever you add will be fine.

 

Vegetable and Brown Rice Salad with Honey Lemon Dressing overhead view

This brown rice salad recipe is the vegetarian side dish you're always looking for when you're hosting a crowd or going to a potluck.

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Other Grain Salad Recipes:

And if you are as besotted by the notion of grain salads as I am, here are a few more to get the creative juices flowing:

Vegetable and Brown Rice Salad with Honey Lemon Dressing

The perfect thing to bring to a potluck.
Yield: 10 People
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

Ingredients

For the Brown Rice and Vegetable Salad

  • 4 cups cooked and cooled long-grain brown rice
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 cup diced seedless cucumber
  • ½ cup chopped red or yellow onion
  • 1 cup thinly sliced radishes
  • ½ cup thinly sliced celery
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves

For the Honey-Lemon Dressing

  • cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 clove finely minced garlic
  • Kosher or coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Directions

  • For the salad, in a large bowl combine the brown rice, carrots, cucumber, onion, radishes, celery, parsley and thyme.
  • For the dressing, in a small container combine the olive oil, lemon juice, honey, vinegar, mustard, garlic, salt and pepper.  Pour the dressing over the brown rice salad, toss to combine very well, turn into a serving platter and serve at room temperature.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 180kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 40mg | Potassium: 163mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 2365IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 28mg | Iron: 1mg

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