Red Rice Salad with Peaches & Cucumber

July/August 2013

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Sweet peaches or nectarines, lemon and a kiss of ginger and chile sparkle against chewy red rice in this rice salad recipe. Bhutanese red rice has a delicate flavor and cooks in 20 minutes. Look for it near other whole-grain rice in natural-foods stores. Can’t find Bhutanese rice? Use another red rice or brown rice and adjust the cooking time.

Red Rice Salad with Peaches & Cucumber

Makes: 8 servings, about 1 1/4 cups each

Serving Size: about 1 1/4 cups each

Active Time:

Total Time:


  • 4 cups diced English cucumbers (about 1 1/4 pounds)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup Bhutanese red rice, rinsed
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 3 cups diced ripe but firm peaches or nectarines (about 1 pound)
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds, toasted (see Tip)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 1 teaspoon minced seeded fresh serrano chile, or to taste
  • 3 cups arugula, coarsely chopped


  1. Toss cucumber in a bowl with 3/4 teaspoon salt; let stand at room temperature for 1 hour. Rinse, then drain in a sieve, pressing to extract excess water.
  2. Meanwhile, combine water, rice and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer, cover and cook until the rice is tender, about 20 minutes. Let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. If there is any water remaining, drain the rice in a fine colander. Fluff with a fork and spread out on a baking sheet to cool.
  3. Whisk lemon juice, oil, ginger and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt in a large bowl until well combined. Add the cucumber, the rice, peaches (or nectarines), sunflower seeds, mint and chile; mix well. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes to let the flavors develop.
  4. Just before serving, add arugula and toss again.

Tips & Notes

  • Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 3, cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day. Finish with Step 4 just before serving.
  • Tip: Toast nuts before using in a recipe for the best flavor. To toast whole nuts, spread on a baking sheet and bake at 350°F, stirring once, until fragrant, 7 to 9 minutes. To toast seeds, chopped, small or sliced nuts, cook in a small dry skillet over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant and lightly browned, 2 to 4 minutes.


Per serving: 204 calories; 9 g fat (1 g sat, 5 g mono); 0 mg cholesterol; 30 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 4 g protein; 4 g fiber; 225 mg sodium; 360 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (18% daily value), Magnesium (15% dv), Potassium (15% dv)

Carbohydrate Servings: 1 1/2

Exchanges: 1 starch, 1 vegetable, 1/2 lean meat, 2 fat

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