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Rice Salad with Roasted Lemons

Rice Salad with Roasted Lemons

Renée Robinson

I Don’t Think I Could Love This More.

 I love a good rice salad. And by good, I mean one that’s loaded with flavor and full of interesting ingredients. For this one I sliced up a lemon, drizzled it with a small amount of olive oil and roasted it in a hot oven.

Lemons are ready for the oven

I love how a few of the slices came out with some char on them. I knew this would provide and extra dimension of flavor. 

Roasted lemons

For rice salads, I like to cook my rice pasta-style – in a big pot of salted water. That way the grains stay separate. It’s not fun to eat mushy gooey rice in a salad. I spread it out on a sheet pan and let it all cool to room temperature before mixing in the dressing and other ingredients. 

Cooled rice

For the dressing I minced a couple of large shallots, added Dijon mustard, both calamansi and champagne vinegar, a little fish sauce, plenty of olive oil, salt, and pepper. After stirring it into the rice and lemons I added plenty of capers, parsley, pistachios for both flavor and crunch, and pomegranate arils for their pop of tart/sweet. 

Absolutely nothing else was needed. Really nothing more to say about this. Sometimes it all comes together perfectly and this was one of those times.

Rice Salad with Roasted Lemons

Recipe by Renée Robinson



Here is a rice salad loaded with good stuff. Roasted lemon slices, lots of minced shallots, calamansi vinegar, toasted pistachios, and pomegranate arils are only some of the good things involved. Really out of this world great!

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  • 1 large lemon, cut into 1/8 inch thick slices

  • Olive oil for drizzling on the lemon slices

  • 1 1/2 cups long grain rice

  • 2 large shallots, minced

  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

  • 2 tablespoons calamansi vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon champagne vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

  • Salt

  • Black pepper, coarsely ground

  • 1/4 cup capers, rinsed and drained

  • 1 cup loosely packed Italian parsley leaves, coarsely chopped

  • 1/4 cup toasted salted pistachios, very coarsely chopped

  • 1/2 cup pomegranate arils


  • Preheat oven to 425° with a rack in the center. Place the slices of lemon on a parchment lined sheet pan and barely drizzle with a little olive oil. Roast for 15 minutes until they start to caramelize. Flip them over and let them roast for another 5 minutes. Set aside to cool and then cut the slices into quarters.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Add the rice and cook for 12 minutes.
  • Drain the rice and spread it out on a sheet pan to cool to room temperature.
  • Make the dressing by whisking together in a small bowl the shallots, mustard, both vinegars, fish sauce, and olive oil. Season well with salt and plenty of black pepper.
  • In a large bowl stir together the rice, roasted lemons, and capers. Gently stir in the dressing, parsley, pistachios, and pomegranate arils, saving a few for garnishing the top. Taste for seasoning. Serve and enjoy!

2 Responses

  1. Hi Renee. We made this today for Sunday dinner with the kids and grands. It was so delish! Didn’t have calamansi vinegar anywhere in our small city and didn’t plan far enough ahead to order it, so used citrus champagne vinegar instead. The salad was a huge hit with everyone. Thanks for sharing your creative chef skills!

    1. Sharon, you made a great choice with the citrus champagne vinegar. It had to have been delicious with the salad. I’m so happy to hear you all enjoyed it. Thanks so much for letting me know. You’re very welcome!!

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