Rice Salad with Shaved Radish Rounds & Citrus Dressing
Rice Salad on Blue Background with Sunshine by Dena T Bray©.jpg

Perfection. That’s the word that comes to mind when I think of the world around me now. Everything is in bloom. The sun is shining. The gardens are newly planted. Everything feels perfect and full of hope.

Purple Radishes On Wood with Sunlight by Dena T Bray©

The same is true of the foods we eat this time of year. When we bring home fresh produce—bunches of spring garlic, bouquets of arugula and jewel-like red and purple beets—from the farm stand there is little need to do much more than rinse and chop to create a fabulous meal. With so much to do outside, it’s a gift to have food on hand that requires little preparation. This Rice Salad with Shaved Radishes & Citrus Dressing is one that you will want to enjoy again and again all summer. Fragrant long-grain Basmati rice is simmered with a bit of garlic and stock then mixed with sliced red peppers, black olives, fresh herbs, and a light dressing once it is cooled down. Just before serving, add delicate slivers of crispy radishes for both spice and color. This light salad is perfect for lunch. Or consider serving it with meat or fish fresh off the grill, Savory Parmesan Scones, and a cool beer or glass of wine for a delicious dinner.

Time to get back outside!

I look forward to seeing you in my kitchen, gathering flavors, soon.


Radish Salad Upclose by Dena T Bray©.jpg
Salad and Sunshine with Red Napkin by Dena T. Bray©


Yield: 4 Servings


For the rice:

  •  2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 1 cup long-grain Basmati rice, white or brown
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil or oregano
  • ½ teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
  • 2 cups stock, chicken or vegetable
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

 For the dressing:

  • Juice of 1 lemon, lime or small orange (about ½ cup)
  • Zest of 1 lemon, lime or small orange, minced finely
  • ¾ cup olive oil or sunflower oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the salad:

  • ¾ cup fresh herb leaves (basil, thyme, parsley or a combination), rinsed and lightly chopped

  • ¾ cup greens (lettuce, or arugula or radish), rinsed trimmed and sliced into small slivers
  • 1 small red pepper, rinsed, seeded and cut into thin slivers
  • 1 cup black olives, pits removed and lightly chopped
  • 6 large radishes, trimmed and shaved into paper-thin rounds*
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Make the riceby placing a medium-sized stock pot on the stove top. Add the olive oil and heat the pot on high. Add the minced garlic and stir with the hot oil. Add the rice and stir to coat with the olive oil garlic mixture. Lower the heat to medium and cook the rice until it is lightly browned, stirring all the while. This should take a minute or two. Add the dried spices and toss to coat the rice. Add the stock and return the heat to high. Bring the stock to a boil, turn off the heat, and stir all the ingredients together. Tightly cover the pot and place in the oven. Cook until all the liquid is absorbed by the rice. This will take about 20 minutes for white rice, 45 minutes for brown.
  3. Remove the rice from the oven and pour it into a large heat-proof mixing bowl. Add salt and pepper. Stir.
  4. Allow  rice to cool completely.
  5. Make the dressing while the rice is cooking. Whisk together all the dressing ingredients in a large bowl or measuring cup with a spout.
  6. Make the salad once the rice is cooled. Add all the prepared vegetables except the radishes, to the mixing bowl holding the rice. Gently toss everything together. Add enough dressing to coat the rice and vegetables, saving a few teaspoons for the radishes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  7. When ready to serve, divide the rice salad between 4 dinner plates. Divide the shaved radish rounds between the 4 plates. Dress with a bit of the remaining salad dressing.
  8. Add salt and pepper.
  9. Serve and enjoy.


1. Use a mandolin, vegetable peeler or sharp paring-knife to sliver the radish rounds.

2. For a full meal, serve this salad with Savory Parmesan Scones,Pan-grilled Chicken Breasts and Marinated Strawberries for dessert. Add some chilled beer or wine. 

Purple Radishes on Marble by Dena T Bray©
Dena Testa Bray has been writing Gathering Flavors, a culinary blog, since 2011. She is a trained chef & ran a home based cooking school. Dena now designs websites, focusing on work with creative people. You can see her website work at www.denatestabray.net. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and family.