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 -
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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!

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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!


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