Yield: 12 servings.
1½ qt. water
½ Tbsp. dry leaf basil (may use thyme, marjoram, oregano, etc.)
3 cups uncooked Spanish rice mix (long grain rice with seasoning)
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
1 cup finely diced multi-color bell peppers
½ cup crumbled feta cheese
½ cup peeled, seeded cucumber, finely diced
½ cup chopped, pitted kalamata olives
½ cup chopped, fresh mint leaves
1 Tbsp. lemon zest
2 tsp. cracked black pepper
In a large pot, bring water to a boil over high heat; add basil. Stir in rice and seasoning packet and return to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and let simmer over low heat for 18 to 20 minutes, until rice is cooked through and liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and let stand 5 to 10 minutes before fluffing with a fork and using as directed.
Mix olive oil and lemon juice and toss with warm rice to completely coat. Gently fold in remaining ingredients until mixed in completely. Use scoop to serve. Serve with roasted or grilled poultry, beef, lamb or pork.
Photo: USA Rice Federation