Two Simple Salads to Celebrate Spring

By Family Features | Contributor

Letting in a little fresh air with an open window or a screen door is a sure sign of spring, allowing the natural sights and smells of the outdoors to accompany you at the dinner table. Take that open-air freshness to new heights this spring by pairing it with your own signature spins on salad season.

For example, this Tuna and Rice Nicoise Salad offers a new take on tuna salad with olive tapenade, capers, tomatoes, green beans and cherry tomatoes. Its calling card: swapping out potatoes in favor of Minute Yellow Rice Cups, which cook up fast as a convenient and flavorful alternative that saves the chore of washing, peeling and boiling potatoes. Fully cooked and packaged in BPA-free cups, it features white rice lightly seasoned with onion powder, garlic powder and turmeric for a delightful taste ready in just 1 minute.

As a perfect recipe for those who love veggies, this dish combines classic salad freshness with olive tapenade for a briny bite in every mouthful. Canned tuna mixes with bursts of capers, hard-boiled egg, crisp green beans and sweet cherry tomatoes capped off with tart balsamic dressing to round out the dish.

If you love the taste of crisp, peppery arugula, this Pomegranate and Arugula Rice Salad is practically perfect. Your favorite green shines alongside a delicious mix of sweet pomegranate seeds, crisp almonds and tart balsamic dressing that’s ideal for a starter or side, or you can add a preferred protein to turn it into a satisfying main course.

Requiring just 15 minutes to prepare, this salad is ready in an instant and serves up to eight people, making it a solution for anything from family gatherings to meal prepping for a busy week ahead.

Tuna and Rice Nicoise Salad

Prep time: 4 minutes

Cook time: 1 minute

Servings: 1

1       cup Minute Yellow Rice Cups

2       tablespoons balsamic dressing

2       tablespoons olive tapenade

1       teaspoon capers, drained well

1/2     cup halved cherry tomatoes

1/2     cup frozen green beans, thawed

1       can (3 ounces) tuna, drained and flaked

1       hard-boiled egg, cut into wedges

Heat rice according to package directions.

In medium bowl, combine rice, balsamic dressing, tapenade and capers. Mix well.

Top with cherry tomatoes, green beans, tuna and hard-boiled egg.

Tip: Serve salad over bed of mixed greens, if desired.

A Bit of Trivia: Why is it called a Nicoise salad?

The name “Salade Niçoise” refers to Nice, the capital city of the Alpes-Maritimes department on the French Riviera. This region is known for its mild climate and abundance of sunflowers, olive trees, herbs, and vegetables used in many traditional dishes.

Pomegranate and Arugula Rice Salad

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 5 minutes

Servings: 8

2       cups Minute Instant Jasmine Rice

1/3     cup olive oil

3       tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2       tablespoons minced red onion

1       tablespoon Dijon mustard

1       teaspoon honey

1/2     teaspoon salt

1/4     teaspoon black pepper

1       bag (5 ounces) arugula

1       cup pomegranate seeds

1/3     cup slivered almonds, toasted

Prepare rice according to package directions. Cool completely, about 10 minutes.

In large bowl, whisk oil, vinegar, red onion, mustard, honey, salt and pepper.

Add rice, arugula and pomegranate seeds to bowl; toss to coat thoroughly. Sprinkle with almonds.

Tips: For added flavor, top salad with crumbled goat or blue cheese.

To cool rice quickly, spread evenly on parchment paper-lined baking sheet.

Find more spring salads and other flavorful, convenient recipes by visiting MinuteRice.com.

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