Ottolenghi Red Rice and Quinoa Recipe

Ottolenghi's beautiful red rice and quinoa recipe - a substantial, color-flecked platter showcasing citrus-dressed grains punctuated by pistachios, dried apricots, and arugula.

Ottolenghi Red Rice and Quinoa

I might be getting ahead of myself (it's only May after all), but I suspect I've discovered what will become my favorite cookbook of the year. Written by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi, Ottolenghi: The Cookbook is a collection of 140 recipes from the hugely popular UK-based Ottolenghi establishments. This is my kind of food - abundant family-style platters, big color, bold flavors, and generous use of whole grains. Today I'm featuring Ottolenghi's beautiful red rice and quinoa recipe - a substantial, color-flecked platter showcasing citrus-dressed grains punctuated by pistachios, dried apricots, and arugula. I have to say, choosing which recipe to try first was no easy task.

Ottolenghi Rice Salad Recipe

To get a better sense of the type of food you'll find throughout the rest of Ottolenghi: The Cookbook I'll share it's opening paragraph, which (appropriately) sets the tone from the start,

"Our feast is, literally, a feast of bold colors and generous gestures. It is driven by an unapologetic desire to celebrate food and its virtues, to display abundance in the same way that a market stallholder does: show everything you've got and shout its praise whole heartedly."

Accordingly, many of the beautiful photos featured in the book show platters overflowing with rustic, colorful, generous food - peaches grilled and shimmering with juices, a tray of muffins crowned with ripe red plums, lemon slices nestled in a hill of fava beans. You get a full range of Ottolenghi greatest hits here, both sweet and savory. Sections in the 288-page volume are broken up into beautifully photographed sections - pulses and grains, macaroons and meringues, bars, biscuits and truffles, fish and shellfish, poultry, soups, and plenty more.

Ottolenghi Rice Salad Recipe

Seeing a series of Ottolenghi platters lined on the cover you realize everything a contemporary deli or buffet counter could (and should) be. Open the book and the pages show you the way.

Congratulations to Yotam and Sami on a bright, beautiful, and dynamic book. I look forward to visiting one of the Ottolenghi locales in person someday - in the meantime the book should keep me quite occupied and inspired.

Related Links:

- Ottolenghi Website
- Ottolenghi blog
- Yotam Ottolenghi's 'The New Vegetarian' column on the Guardian

- More Quinoa Recipes -
101 Cookbooks Membership

Premium Ad-Free membership includes:
-Ad-free content
-Print-friendly recipes
-Spice / Herb / Flower / Zest recipe collection PDF
-Weeknight Express recipe collection PDF
-Surprise bonuses throughout the year

spice herb flower zest
weeknight express

Ottolenghi Red Rice and Quinoa Recipe

Heidi notes: Ottolenghi uses (and recommends) Camargue red rice. The red rice most available to me is a Butanese red rice. Use whatever you can find or substitute a good brown rice, farro or wheat berries. I should also note that I've adapted the recipe measurements to suit U.S. cooks.

1/4 cup shelled pistachios
1 cup quinoa
1 cup red rice (see headnotes)
1 medium white onion, sliced
2/3 cup olive oil
grated zest and juice of one orange
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 garlic clove, crushed
4 spring onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup dried apricots, roughly chopped
2 handfuls of rocket (arugula)
salt and black pepper

Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Spread the pistachios out on a baking tray and toast for 8 minutes, until lightly colored. Remove from the oven, allow to cool slightly and then chop roughly. Set aside.

Fill two saucepans with salted water and bring to a boil. Simmer the quinoa in one for 12 - 14 minutes and the rice in the other for 20 minutes. Both should be tender but still have a bite. Drain in a sieve and spread out the two grains separately on flat trays to hasten the cooling down.

While the grains are cooking, saute the white onion in 4 tablespoons of the olive oil until golden brown. Leave to cool completely.

In a large mixing bowl combine the rice, quinoa, cookied onion and the remaining oil. Add all the rest of the ingredients, the taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve at room temperature.

Makes a large platter.

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!
weeknight express
101cookbooks social icon
Join my newsletter!
Weekly recipes and inspirations.

Comments are closed.

Apologies, comments are closed.


Thanks so much for sharing this recipe. I made it two days ago for a big family dinner. It was a raging success! My daughter can’t eat onions or garlic, so I sauted fennel in place of the white onion and left out the garlic, and it was still fabulous. Also great the next day with some goat feta sprinkled on top. Yum………
I have to add that your method of cooking the rice and quinoa (ie, don’t bother measuring the water, just watch until it is done to your liking and then drain) was the biggest “aha” I have ever had… I always curse and rant when the rice decides to not need as much water as usual (probably our Vancouver dampness) and it ends up getting over-cooked and mushy. Why didn’t I think of this??? Does this method work for all types of rice and grains?
Thanks again – love your site and your cooking style.


Just made this today (along with the Banana Chip cookies..yum!). Like Sasha I used half the amount of grains listed and used the full amount of all else. And, you know what really tops off this salad marvelously? Chunks of creamy goat cheese and more of those toasted pistachios…really delish!


oops, sorry, didn’t think my computer was connecting right. certainly didn’t mean to post three times.


i made this a couple of weeks ago. i used half the amount of the red rice and quinoa (we are only two), but the full amount of all of the other ingredients (and probably more arugula than called for). the only thing i omitted were the dried fruits, and instead served it with fried eggs (poached would have been better, but it was a last minute decision and we were out of white vinegar). in any case, it was delicious and will certainly be made again and again. thanks.


i made this the other week. i used half the amount of quinoa and red rice (we are only two), but the full amount of other ingredients (and probably more arugula than called for). the only thing we omitted were the dried apricots, and instead we ate the salad with fried eggs (poached would have been better, but it was a last moment decision). in any case, the salad was delicious and we’ll be making it again and again. thanks.


i made this the other week. i used half the amount of quinoa and red rice (we are only two), but the full amount of other ingredients (and probably more arugula than called for). the only thing we omitted were the dried apricots, and instead we ate the salad with fried eggs (poached would have been better, but it was a last moment decision). in any case, the salad was delicious and we’ll be making it again and again. thanks.


Hi Heidi,
I made this over the weekend- absolutely delicious- just the right amount of everything. Definitely one of the best recipes I have tried in a while. The book is not available at the US Amazon site yet- I hope they are working on converting the measurements from the British system to the American system. This book is a MUST HAVE even if I do end up converting the measurements!!!


I just made this recipe and I have to say it was marvelous! The extremely diverse flavors in one dish gave a great twist on the grains!


Oh my goodness. Thank you so much for highlighting this one—I think I shall have to hunt it down!

heather (errantdreams)

PS Oiliness reduced markedly over a couple of hours. How does that happen?! Became more delicious over that time and was really enjoyed by husband who “doesn’t like quinoa”!

Stephanie T

I just made this and a bowl of it was quite delicious – a lot of flavour! I doubled the nut quantity and have yet to hit the shops for some rocket, which will be great to cut the oil a bit. I’d reduced the oil to half a cup and next time would take it down to a quarter. Wonderful to read your site Heidi, with its wonderfully frequent updates – also great to read everyones’ comments, suggestions and links to more info. Thanks all!

Stephanie T

Thank you for alerting me to the life of this cook book. Ottolengih was one of my favourite places to eat when living in London. I’ve purchased the book and look forward to recreating favourite dishes in my NZ kitchen.


looks fab
I have rocket growing in my mesclun mix and can’t wait to try this


thank you, heidi, for another great cookbook recommendation! I’m sending the link to your post to my brother and his wife who are in london right now. I will be sooo jealous if they get to go to Ottolenghi!


It is a beautiful cookbook, but you know, YOUR photo of the dish is prettier than the one in the book…v


I cooked it last night and it was delicious!!!! I made it as it is written and there is nothing left for today, so I am gonna repeat it again, as soon as posible!!


I made this tonight for dinner and it was amazing! Thanks for another great meal, Heidi.


Hello Heidi,
I found your website a few months ago and it is my absolute favorite. I bought both of your cookbooks immediately (even though I also have 101 cookbooks in my pantry already!). They are fantastic. I look so forward to the emails alerting me of a new recipe! I would love to get the Ottolenghi book but am concerned that I will have trouble with the conversions (to U.S. measurements). Any ideas on how to do this easily?
Since this is my first post I want to thank you for all of the valuable information, recipes and photos that you share with all of us!


I’ve been looking forward to this book coming out for so long!
We’ve just had Yotam’s Green pancakes with lime butter for dinner which were delicious. Not sure if they are in the book but the recipe is online on the guardian web site


I live down the road from the Ottolenghi in Islington in London. I love it there. I could just stare at the food in the windows for hours. Really lovely stuff.


It looks great! I never had quinoa. I’ll try find recipes in order to start having it. I’m sure it’s something goood. Everybody has quinoa these days… Educate me, guys, don’t be shy. 😉


and this is how i want to eat
and then even though i am an omnivore, i never miss the meat.
so wonderful
the book is sold out on amazon! could it be the power of heidi?

Claudia (cook eat FRET)

I was looking forward impatiently for their cookbook. I am lucky enough to live near their shop in Islington and I never get tired of their food: To be honest, it is hard to resist when I pass by.
I have the book since its release and I did not put it down since. One of my favorite cookbook. I only managed to try the recipe that appears in Waitrose Food Illustrated: Pistachio and rose water semolina cake… so great! Here is the link to the full article


l love red rice.

YOYO's Cooking

l love red rice.

YOYO's Cooking

Ottolenghi is one of my fave spots to eat in London and it’s a gorgeous book! It screams summer and colour and flavour. Delicious.
I have been really looking forward it coming out and have been following his yummy veggie recipes every week in the guardian.


I absolutely love that style of cooking! Actually, it’s one of the reasons I visit this site. I’ve got to get my hands on a copy of this book.


I’ve been putting off buying this book for a while now, but I can do so for no longer having read this post.
What a wonderful sounding meal 🙂


The first thing I thought after eating at Ottolenghi the first time was “Do they have a cookbook?” I’m so glad to see one has now been published!


Lundberg Family Farms sells a red rice seasonally at our local health food stores. They also carry other wonderful and unusual rices and rice blends online at Many of their rices are organic too.
The recipe sounds great! I love rice with fruits and nuts.


you are always suggesting these great cookbooks and my wishlist on amazon is growing longer and longer! thanks for sharing 🙂

The Spotted Apron

I’ve been hearing about Ottolenghi from food friends in London. The restaurants are supposed to be amazing and it sounds like the cookbook is, too. Plus they love lemons (see their website) and that is my kind of place.
Tori, it sounds like we need to hop a flight 😉


looks and sounds wonderful. I had 3 months in London last year and discovered and enjoyed the Ottolenghi establishments. Can’t wait to get the book when it arrives downunder


I gave my mother-in-law red rice for Christmas along with another recipe of yours and she loved it so much I had to get her a 5 lb. bag. I was so excited to see another red rice recipe that I immediately sent it to my sister-in-law to print out for mom-in-law! thanks heidi!


WOW! Sounds so good, especially being I’ve recently been on the vegetarian quest myself. I found the Camargue red rice too! And, I’m glad to see that I’m not the only one who didn’t know what rocket was. Thanks so much! Love your emails…keep em’ coming!

Sue's Good Eats

Hi, cooks. This picture is great and the grain pairing sounds delicious to me, but I’d significantly reduce the amount olive oil. Why, you can easily cook half an onion in a single tbs of oil!


I’ve never heard of Ottolenghi, but it sounds like a wonderful way to cook. What a great recipe too, I love the addition of dried apricots, especially in a cold or room temperature grain salad. It especially works well for this time of the year.
The Peanut Butter Boy


That paragraph you included in your post is my exact philosophy towards food. I am anxious to hopefully see more posts from this book. Thank you for the delicious eye candy!


Hi Heidi – I’ve been a big fan of Ottolenghi for a long time and have been enjoying the book too. There are so many favourites but I might choose the samphire and asparagus salad if I had to… I thought of you when I first had this red rice & quinoa salad! kxx
Hi Keiko! It’s funny – I almost picked the Samphire salad 🙂


Heidi, I think you are 3 for 3 with these grainy salads!! Over the weekend we made Citrus Parmesean Farro and Lemon scented Quinoa and both are big hits with me and my guy! Looks like I have a bit of catching up to do and a few more recipes to try!


I wish I lived close enough to attend their cooking classes. I can’t wait to get the book.


Thank Goodness you have this site! I’ve been a fan of Jamie Oliver for a long time and he writes and talks about rocket all the time but until now I have had no clue what it is. Arugula…woot woot.
the recipe looks delish! thanks for the great things you find and share!


This is beautiful, and it’s the kind of cooking that saved British food from culinary shame (you have to admit, there was a period during which the UK was known for bland food — I can say this too because I have roots there, so I’m jabbing at myself).
I’ve seen recipes with red rice (and also with red barley) and I wonder if anyone knows where to come by it. I live in an ethnically diverse urban area with lots of international grocers and a handful of really good gourmet and specialty stores, but I’ve yet to lay my eyes on it.
In the meantime, I’ll try this one with brown, I suppose.
Becky, now that you have your eyes peeled for it you’ll spot some soon enough.

Becky And The Beanstock

I have never tried red rice. I feel embarrassed to say that. It looks good. I wonder if the nutritional content is significantly different from other rice.
It is a whole grain rice, so in that regard it is more nutritious than a white rice. But brown vs. red I’d have to look into.


I also live close to Ottolenghi but for one reason or another haven’t had a chance to visit yet, despite recommendations from numerous friends. This post may just have tipped the balance. Yey! And thanks for your ever-delectable blog.


Hi, This looks perfect really delicious,i like the textures ..

Latin Finanzas y Negocios

Thank you, Heidi, for including a recipe from one of my best sources of inspiration, the incomparable Ottolenghi. I moved to NH from London 2 years ago and I didn’t realise they had a cookbook. I’ve now ordered it and can’t wait to make this camargue and quinoa salad.
By the way, have you ever tried the Ottolenghi Sweet Potato with Spicy Yoghurt and Pomegranate Seeds? I don’t know if that’s the actual title but those are the key indredients and the salad is beyond scrumptious.
no, haven’t tried that one yet! Thanks for the tip.


Hi, I’m a London-based food journalist, and I agree – Ottolenghi is fabulous, and their recipes in The Guardian are awesome! Other than light, savoury salady meals, they also do beautiful blowsy cakes and their deli/ restaurants look like art galleries. A must-visit for vegetarians. I particularly like their East European-style salad of kohlrabi (which tastes a bit like broccoli stems), dried sour cherries and lots of fresh dill. Yum!


Looks like a great book! This recipe is on the heels of the Cinammon Quinoa recipe and I’ve just been wondering if anyone ever sprouts quinoa before using it? I’ve been eating it raw but I believe you can sprout beans/grains and then cook them too?
Michelle – you can absolutely sprout grains and go that route.

Michelle @ What Does Your Body Good?

This looks really interesting. I thought the dried apricots might put me off – too sweet for me – but the arugula probably balances it very well. It would be a great side dish for a large party!

Fearless Kitchen

Weird! Last night I made a quinoa and red rice (Butanese) dish and I thought I was doing something so original, haha!
The textures are so great together. I added some avocado and it was incredible.
As always, I love this recipe! Thanks for sharing =)


I live just down the road from Ottolenghi… I can’t believe I haven’t gone yet. This post has convinced me. Thank you!


Pistachios and whole grains is one of my favorite combinations — chewy, crunchy, and nutty on two fronts. Sometimes I’m able to find red quinoa, which might be nice with other grains than red rice — brown rice, wild rice, bulgar, black rice, etc. Thanks for sharing this lovely looking cookbook!

Jen (Modern Beet)

Wow! That sounds really delicious. I think I might have to get this cookbook now 🙂
This would make a beautiful lunch!


omgoodness! I just bought this book last weekend when I saw it in their restaurant! This book is quickly becoming one of my favorites. Hope everyone else enjoys it as much as I have!


Comments are closed.

Apologies, comments are closed.

More Recipes

101cookbooks social icon
Join my newsletter!
Weekly recipes and inspirations.

Popular Ingredients

Use of this site constitutes acceptance of its User Agreement and Privacy Policy.

101 Cookbooks is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Any clickable link to on the site is an affiliate link.