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Whole Grain Rice Salad Recipe

Staff Writer
Whole Grain Rice Salad
Heidi Swanson

Whole Grain Rice Salad

Super natural guru Heidi Swanson makes this healthy and hearty salad recipe that's filled with nutrient-packed spinach, nuts, herbs, and crumbled goat cheese. 



  • 3 ½ cups cooked whole grain rice, heated  
  • 4 handfuls baby spinach, stems trimmed
  • 2/3 cup walnut halves, toasted
  • 1 ½ cups sweet cherries, pitted
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup white wine vinegar
  • Fine-grain sea salt
  • A few small basil leaves
  • A bit of goat cheese, crumbled (optional)


Combine the hot rice, spinach, and most of the walnuts in a large bowl. Toss until the spinach wilts a bit.

Make the cherry vinaigrette by combining one-third of the cherries, the olive oil, white wine vinegar, and ¼ teaspoon salt and blending until smooth. Add a generous splash of the dressing to the salad.
Tear the remaining cherries in half and stir most of them into the rice. Taste and add more salt, if needed. Turn the salad out onto a platter and finish with the last of the cherries, walnuts, basil, and goat cheese, if using. Serve immediately.

Rice Shopping Tip

Rice is enjoyed in almost all cuisines and is readily available globally. For a simple side dish to any meat or vegetable entrée, rice is a great complement.

Rice Cooking Tip

Be sure you are using the correct type of rice needed to obtain the result you are looking for. Long grain rice stays fluffy and individual while shorter grain rice is starchier. Also, rinse all rice before use.

Rice Wine Pairing

Tempranillo or other light Spanish red wine types with paella, even seafood paella. Various other wines depending on what rice is cooked with; see Pasta Recipes and other individual food types.