Red Rice Salad (Loaded with Veggies)

I almost posted this recipe on my recent Blogging for Books post over Cooking for Picasso simply because my inspiration came from a Dorie Greenspan recipe.  (If I’ve lost you, there are lots of great French dishes in Cooking for Picasso.).  Alas, I just didn’t get it done in time.

But, as luck would have it, I needed a Frenchified dish for this month’s Food ‘n Flix.   Heather (All Roads Lead to the Kitchen) is hosting French Kiss for January.
Food 'n Flix Club Logo

There is not a lot of visual food in the film and by that I mean there are no long food-porn shots of delicious French dishes; there are, however, lots of food references.   Here’s a list that I compiled:

  • Pizza (with cheese)
  • Eggs (Kate’s nest egg)
  • Vodka (that Luc swipes on the transatlantic flight)
  • Grapes (from Luc’s smuggled baby grape vine to the vineyards of his ancestral home)
  • Wine (of course…we’re in France)
  • Cheese Plate (as Kate discovers cheese and meets her lactose intolerance head on)
  • Baguettes (from the above cheese plate)
  • Currants, lavender, rosemary, and mushrooms (from Luc’s “bouquet” box)
  • Desserts (from the dessert cart that Kate so gracefully collides with)
  • SeaBreeze (the frou-frou drink that Kate orders when she confronts Charlie and Juliette)
  • Crudités (Kate swipes a carrot from the appetizer plate that Charlie and Juliette are sharing.)

french kisss


I, of course, almost whipped up a SeaBreeze.  Considering we are trying to eat healthier, I showed great restraint.  Here is a Frenchie salad and our next installment for our 2017 Challenge or “Rice Bowls and Salads to $800 and a Sexier Husband.”  The salad is loaded with veggies just like that crudités plate.  

Red Rice Salad (Loaded with Veggies)
inspired by Couscous Salad from Dorie Greenspan

1 c. red rice cooked according to directions
1/2 c. golden raisins (I used jumbo “crimson” raisins.)
1 cucumber, peeled and cubed
1 red sweet pepper, diced
1/2 c. shredded carrots (I used sliced carrots.)
1/2 c. brocolli slaw
1 (15 oz.) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
zest of one lemon
Spiced Vinaigrette (see recipe below)
salt and fresh ground pepper to taste


Waiting for the rice.


Toss all ingredients and let set for a few hours before serving.


Dorie’s salad was made with couscous and added spices to the cooking process.   I decided to experiment and try the flavors in a vinaigrette.

Spiced Vinaigrette
an original recipe inspired by the flavors in Dorie’s salad

1/2 c. olive oil
4 T. fresh lemon juice
1 large clove garlic, minced
1/2 t. ginger paste
1/4 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. cumin
1/2 t. turmeric
sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Place all ingredients in a blender and emulsify.


I really enjoyed this salad and it was a nice change from our warm rice bowls.  Although the raisins added a different texture and a bit of sweetness, I think the next time I make this I will add dried tomatoes instead.    This salad definitely gets better the longer it sets.   Any grain will work for this dish as well like the Dorie called-for couscous or quinoa.

As for the film, it’s fun.   I won’t give the plot away anymore than I have but you can read a great introduction to the film at Food ‘n Flix.   I did have a few problems as I watched the film, though.

  1. I was watching a YouTube  posted version so there were no subtitles (and I don’t speak French).  I inferred that there was some sort of prior relationship between the police inspector (Jean Reno) and Luc.   If any of you out there were not so cheap and rented the movie, can you please share this information with me?
  2. I could not get past Kevin Kline’s accent.   His accent kept making me think of a Monty Python sketch (perhaps because I was remembering scenes from A Fish Called Wanda with his co-star John Cleese).
  3. Finally, there was his mustache which made him look like an 80’s porn star (not that I have experience watching those sort of things…)

kevin line

In conclusion, I have to share my most favorite quote from the film:

“When people tell me they are happy, my ass begins to twitch.”—Luc

Please plan on joining Food ‘n Flix in February for the feature film  Pan’s Labyrinth hosted at Pretty Cake Machine.  Membership is open to anyone that wants to participate.  For more information, click here.

Last but not least…you know I just couldn’t resist whipping one of these up.





I used Wendy’s recipe from her FnF post for January.


Sharing this with Deb’s Souper Sunday at Kahakai Kitchen.


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