Lemony Rice Salad with Roasted Vegetables

This hearty rice salad is a showstopper with vivid flavors from the lemon zest in the dressing and a shower of fresh basil added at the end.


Step 1. Rinse and drain rice; cook in heavy-bottomed pot. When cooked, turn out into two 4-inch hotel pans and fluff to cool.

Step 2. Preheat oven (convection or regular) to 400º. Cut up all vegetables. Raw cut-up vegetables should fill one 4-inch hotel pan VERY full. Toss in large stainless bowl with enough olive oil to lightly coat all the vegetables. Eggplant should be roasted separately because it takes longer—30–40 minutes. Roast until soft and thoroughly cooked. No al dente for this dish! (Note: vegetables really shrink a lot during cooking.)

Step 3. Line sheet pans with parchment paper and divide vegetables between pans. They should be in one layer. Season with salt and pepper and roast for 25 minutes. Check to see if they are roasting well, toss and roast for 20 more minutes. When done, some vegetables should be browned with some burned bits (especially onions). Place in a 6-inch hotel pan with all juices.

Step 4. Wash and spin basil. Remove stems and roll leaves into bundles with larger leaves on the outside like a cigar. Sliver into little shreds. Finely chop scallions. Drain and crumble feta.

Final Assembly

Step 5. Divide rice and vegetables between two 6-inch hotel pans for ease of tossing. Add two large ladles of dressing to each bowl and toss gently. Check for seasoning and sufficient dressing, adding more if needed. Top with scallions and basil, dividing equally between pans. Fills two 6-inch hotel pans half full.

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