Favorite cookbooks and Simple Rice Salad

I particularly like recipe books that are beautiful – this one is – and that make my life easier rather than more difficult. This 20 Minute Cookbook by Jenni Fleetwood is one of them. All the recipes are easy, you’ll have many of the ingredients in your fridge or your cupboards, and you’ll enjoy trying new things that are pretty straightforward.

20140911_223311This recipe – for Simple Rice Salad (sometimes called Confetti Salad) – is one that I love. It’s perfect to take to a picnic, to a party, to a meeting. It travels well, it’s ever so pretty, and it won’t take a lot of time to make. I always get compliments on this when I make it.

Preparation: 6 minutes; Cooking: 10-12 minutes


1 1/2 cups long grain rice
1 bunch spring onions (scallions or green onions), thinly sliced
1 green pepper, seeded and finely diced (I often skip the green pepper and use a red pepper as I’m not a fan of green peppers)
1 yellow pepper, seeded and finely diced
1/2 pound of tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped (I sometimes use grape tomatoes and don’t bother to peel or seed them)
You might also add a bit of chopped celery if you like for that light green color
2 tbsp chopped fresh flat leaf parsley or cilantro
5 tbsp mixed olive oil and extra virgin olive oil (I use all extra virgin because that’s the only kind I have in the house)
1 tbsp sherry vinegar (I don’t generally have this around, so I might use cider vinegar or rice vinegar – which is my favorite)
1 tsp Dijon mustard
Salt and ground black pepper


(I’m using the photo from the book because I ALWAYS forget to take a picture when I make this!)


1. Cook the rice in a large pan of lightly salted boiling water for 10-12 minutes, until tender but still al dente. Don’t overcook it.

2. Drain the rice well, rinse thoroughly under cold running water, and drain again. Leave to cool while you prepare dressing.

3. Whisk all the dressing ingredients together. Transfer rice to a bowl and add half the dressing to moisten it, let it cool again.

4. Add spring onions, peppers, tomatoes and parsley (or cilantro – which is one of my favorite flavors) to the rice, plus the remaining dressing and toss well to mix. Season with salt and pepper to taste.



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