Hand over my heart as I tell you this, no carb has ever passed my lips that I didn’t love. Bread, pasta, rice—I love them all. That’s why this Greek Picnic Salad gets me excited because it’s not really a traditional green salad but rather a carb salad. Yeah baby, now we’re talking.
I love this Greek Picnic Salad because the rice and chick peas make it satisfying enough to be a meal on it’s own. It’s also perfect served as a side with grilled meats and fish in the summer, and as the name suggests it’s ideal for picnics. What more could you want in a salad so carb-o-licious? Unless I told you that it’s loaded with cheese! Feta, to be exact. Two whole cups of crumbly, salty goodness is mixed in this bad boy and you’re going to love it. Unless you’re a non-dairy, carb-hater and in that case we can’t be friends so mosey along.
Feel free to use wild rice if you’d like in this salad, and although I haven’t done it yet, I believe orzo would be an excellent alternative as well. Mmmm, more carbs. The original recipe from Cooking Light called for sun dried tomatoes that you have to hydrate yourself. You may want to do this too, but frankly I love sun dried tomatoes packed in oil; they’re much more flavourful. I also increased the quantity of sun dried tomatoes and pine nuts because life’s too short to skimp on something so delicious.
- 2 cups uncooked white rice
- 1 cup sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil, drained and chopped
- 1 bag of of pre-washed spinach
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 cups of feta cheese, crumbled
- 1/2 cup of sliced kalamata olives
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 4 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
- Lemon wedges, optional
- Cook rice according to package directions and let cool to room temperature.
- Heat 2 tsps of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add spinach and garlic and cook until spinach wilts. Remove skillet from heat and add rice, tomatoes, feta and remaining ingredients. Drizzle with 2 tsps extra-virgin olive oil and combine all ingredients together.
- Serve at room temperature with lemon wedges on the side if desired.