Let me first start by saying this was incredibly delicious! I had an idea, sort of went with it, and the end result was fabulous. This is another easy meal that would be a great addition to any pot luck. I incorporated cucumbers, something I avoid at all costs, until now. I managed to find a way to cook them that satisfies both my taste buds and tummy. I also included arugula another one of my not -so-favorite veggies, but again here I found a delicious way to enjoy it. My intent was to cook vegan but I did use a little butter. And for those feta lovers add some in, but really this was good enough if not better without it.
Serves 2 with leftovers for lunch : )
- Basmati Rice, 1 cup uncooked
- ~12 Greek Olives, I bought mine from Whole Foods Olive Bar: Greek Olives with Red Pepper Flakes
- Tomato, officially the last ones from our garden!
- Lime Juice
- Fresh Mint
- Fresh Cilantro
- Fresh Basil
- Red Onion
- Baby Arugula (I used a good 3/4 of a prepackaged box)
- Olive Oil
- Butter (omit for vegan)
- 1 t Fennel Seed
- Red Pepper Flakes
- 2 T Capers with Brine
- 2 T White Wine
- Davini Stuffed Grape Leaves (These were some of the best I’ve had, but honestly I am not a fan of mint and dill mixed together)
1. Soak basmati rice in cold water for 30 minutes.
2. Slice tomato into wedges and lightly salt.
3. Cube avocado and cover with lime juice.
4. Chiffonade basil, mint, and cilantro.
5. Slice red onion into strips.
6. Chop a few cloves of garlic.
7. Slice cucumber lengthwise, deseed thoroughly, and chop into bit sized chunks.
8. Wash arugula if needed.
9. Rinse the soaked rice thoroughly and drain thoroughly. Cook according to instructions adding a bit of lime juice and olive oil to the water.
10. In a skillet heat up some olive oil and butter. Add the red pepper flakes and fennel seed. Once hot add the onion and garlic. Mix well and add the cucumber and s&p.
11. Add the arugula. I added handful by handful, mixing well.
12. Add the capers with brine and white wine. Allow the wine cook off and wilt the arugula. Taste and season more if necessary. Set aside.
13. Once rice is cooked and has set for 5-10 minutes place in a large bowl and fluff. Lightly mix in the arugula-cucumber mixture. Add the fresh herbs, tomato, and avocado. Again lightly toss. Top with olives!
Cooked cucumber is incredible. You still get the crisp crunch and fresh flavor, but it doesn’t overpower the meal. The same with wilted arugula. The peppery flavor is not lost but again it is mellowed meshing with the other flavors.