Beet and Brown Rice Salad with Goat Cheese


Beets give a dramatic hue to a brown-rice salad, which is sprinkled with goat cheese, pine nuts, and parsley.


  • 1 cup brown basmati, or other brown rice

  • 1 bay leaf

  • Coarse salt

  • ¼ cup pine nuts

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil

  • 2 small onions, finely chopped

  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic

  • 4 medium red beets (about 1 pound), without greens, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes

  • Freshly ground pepper

  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest

  • ¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus more for garnish

  • 2 ounces (about ¾ cup) soft goat cheese, crumbled


  1. Bring 1 1/2 cups water to a boil in a small saucepan. Stir in rice, bay leaf, and 1/2 teaspoon salt; cover. Reduce heat to low; simmer 30 minutes. Remove from heat; let stand, covered.

  2. Meanwhile, toast pine nuts in oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Cook, stirring, until nuts are just browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer nuts with a slotted spoon to a small bowl.

  3. Reduce heat to medium-low; add onions and garlic to skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are translucent, about 8 minutes. Add beets and 1 teaspoon salt; season with pepper. Cover; cook, stirring occasionally, until beets are tender, about 25 minutes (if beets stick to skillet, add up to 1/4 cup water).

  4. Remove bay leaf from rice. Stir rice, half of pine nuts, the lemon zest, and parsley into beet mixture. Transfer to a platter. Top with remaining pine nuts and the goat cheese. Garnish with parsley. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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