A great way to use up leftover rice, this rice and corn salad with black and green olives is a great warm weather main dish. Lemony and fresh tasting, this rice salad is for olive fans.
With the crunch of cabbage and bell peppers, it’s easy to pair with so many other types of dishes for a satisfying meal. Using leftover rice is ideal, as it’s already cool from the fridge, but if you don’t happen to have cooked rice on hand, it’s well worth cooking up a batch to make this recipe. See the details in the Notes section of the recipe box.
Use any kind of rice: Brown, white, Basmati, or even some of the more exotic varieties (like black forbidden rice or any of the red rice varieties) work well in this dish.
Serving ideas: This salad pairs well with bean dishes (warm or cold); tortilla specialties (vegan quesadillas, burritos, tacos, and the like); kale salads. Are you grilling some vegetables and/or plant proteins? This salad is a fantastic way to round out the meal. Here are some pairing ideas:
- Sweet and Smoky Greens & Beans
- Super-Quick Two-Bean Salad
- Flexible and Easy Vegan Quesadillas
- Kale Salad with Chickpeas & Avocado
- 3 to 3 1/2 cups cooked brown rice
- 1 cup cooked fresh or frozen corn kernels
- 1/2 cup chopped black olives
- 1/2 cup chopped green olives
- 1 medium red bell pepper, finely diced
- 1 1/2 cups thinly sliced green cabbage
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley or cilantro
- 2 scallions, green parts, thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more to taste
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice, plus more to taste
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning blend
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Combine the rice, corn, olives, bell pepper, cabbage, parsley, and scallion in a roomy bowl. Toss together.
- Drizzle 3 tablespoons of olive oil and 3 tablespoons lemon juice into the rice mixture along with the Italian seasoning.
- Taste and add more oil and lemon juice if you'd like, then season lightly with salt (you may not need any at all because of the olives) and generously with pepper.
- Stir together, and if time allows, let stand for a half hour or so to allow the flavors to blend. Otherwise, you can serve at once. Serve straight from the bowl or mound onto a large platter.
If you're not starting out with leftover rice, cook it from scratch. Use 1 cup of any variety of rice. Combine brown or other whole-grain rice varieties with 3 cups water in a saucepan. Use 2 1/2 cups water for white rice.
Bring to a slow boil, then lower the heat, cover, and simmer gently until the water is absorbed — about 30 minutes for brown rice; 15 to 20 minutes for white. If the grain isn't done to your liking, add 1/2 cup water and continue to cook until absorbed.
Transfer the rice to the mixing bowl and allow to cool to room temperature before combining with the rest of the ingredients.
If you like this grain-based salad, you might also enjoy …
- See lots more plant-strong salads & side dishes.