The secret to this flavorful salad is mixing the raw spinach leaves with the hot rice – the steaming rice sort of blanches the spinach leaves. They become brighter and more tender and are able to retain their flavor and nutritional value. Cut up all veggies while the rice is cooking because you’ll need the spinach leaves to be ready immediately after the rice is done cooking.
1 cup long-grain rice
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 cups fresh spinach leaves, chopped
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped green onion
1/4 cup chopped Kalamata olives
Cook rice according to directions.
In a large bowl, whisk lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, oregano, salt, black pepper, and cayenne.
Add cooked rice to dressing and mix well. Add spinach, mix, and let stand for about 15-20 minutes, until rice has cooled a bit.
Add remaining ingredients and blend.