Basmati Rice Salad with Peas, Mint, and Lemon

Minty, lemony rice salad made with basmati rice, peas, mint, lemon, and raisins.

Basmati Rice Salad with Peas and Mint
Elise Bauer

Nothing says spring like peas and mint. My friend Kathi came over the other day and shared with me one of her favorite picnic salad recipes showcasing fresh English peas and mint. (Thanks Kathi!)

Toss the shelled, blanched peas with some aromatic basmati rice, minced fresh mint leaves, a little lemon zest and juice, and a handful of raisins or currants and you have a delightful rice salad, which can double as a side for curry.

Don't like raisins? Use currants, chopped dried apricots, or leave them out entirely.

Basmati Rice Salad with Peas, Mint, and Lemon

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 60 mins
Servings 8 servings

Save time by prepping ingredients while the rice is cooking.

Sprinkle with some toasted cashews to the salad for added crunch.

Ingredients

For the rice:

  • 2 cups uncooked basmati rice (to yield 5 to 6 cups cooked rice)

  • 3 cups water (or more, depending on the rice's package instructions)

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 2 (2-inch) strips of fresh lemon zest (use a vegetable peeler to take just the zest, not the whole peel, off of a fresh lemon)

For the mix-ins:

  • 2 cups shelled English peas (from about 1 1/2 to 2 pounds of shell-on peas), or 2 cups of frozen peas

  • 1/4 cup golden raisins or currants, plumped in enough water to cover the raisins for 5 to 10 minutes, then drained

  • 1/2 cup minced green onions, including the greens (about 2 green onions)

  • 1 teaspoon finely minced fresh mint leaves (spearmint)

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Method

  1. Cook the rice:

    Put 2 cups of basmati rice in a medium thick-bottomed pot. Add 3 cups of water (less or more depending on package instructions), 1 teaspoon of salt and 2 strips of lemon zest. Bring to a boil, lower the heat to a low simmer, cover the pot and let cook for 15 minutes (again check your package instructions).

    Remove from heat, keep covered, and let steam for 10 minutes.

  2. Prepare the peas:

    If using fresh peas, blanch them in boiling salted water (1 quart water, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt) for 3 to 4 minutes, depending on the size and freshness of the peas (larger older peas will take longer than smaller fresher peas). Strain peas from blanching water and place in a bowl of ice water to shock them and stop the cooking, then strain.

    If using frozen peas, they are already blanched, so defrost them by placing them in a strainer and running lukewarm water over them for a minute.

  3. Cool the rice to room temp:

    Once the rice is cooked, spread the rice out on a large baking sheet pan to cool quickly. Let cool for 10 minutes, or until room temperature. Place in a large serving bowl.

  4. Combine the rice with mix-in ingredients to serve:

    To the rice add the peas, raisins, green onions, mint, lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, and salt. Toss to combine and serve.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
162 Calories
7g Fat
22g Carbs
4g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 162
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 7g 9%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 165mg 7%
Total Carbohydrate 22g 8%
Dietary Fiber 3g 10%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 4g
Vitamin C 9mg 45%
Calcium 27mg 2%
Iron 1mg 7%
Potassium 182mg 4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.