Rice and Olive Salad
by Melanie Foster
serves: 6
  With roasted tomatoes and feta cheese. Great for a picnic, can be served cold or room temp.
  1 cup   long grain or basmati rice, uncooked
  1 pint   grape tomatoes, rinsed
  1/2   red onion, sliced
  1   small bell pepper, any color
  3/4 cup   kalamata or mixed olives (6 oz)
  3/4 cup   feta cheese, crumbled or diced (6 oz)
  6 Tbsp   olive oil
  1 1/2 Tbsp   lemon juice
  1 Tbsp   white balsamic vinegar
  2   garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  1 tsp   dried oregano
  1/2 tsp   salt and pepper to taste
  Cook the rice as the package directs and pour into a large bowl to cool.

Place whole tomatoes on a rimmed cookie sheet, sprayed with cooking spray. Roast in the oven (or in a perforated grill pan on the grill) at 400 for about 10 minutes until they begin to burst.

Slice the onion thinly and submerge in a bowl of icy water for 10 minutes, drain and set aside.

Dice the green pepper. Pit the olives if neccesary and cut in halves or quarters.

In a jar with a screw-top lid add the oil, lemon juice, vinegar, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper. Shake vigorously.

Place all the vegetables and cheese into the bowl with the rice and toss gently. Add the dressing and toss again. Serve immedientely or chill.

Variations: Use leftover rice. Use brown rice. Use romaine lettuce instead of rice. Add cucumber in place of or in addition to any of the vegetables. Add canned garbanzo beans. Add leftover chicken or tuna for a main dish salad. Serve in a pita pocket as a sandwich.
Add a spoonful of plain yogurt to the dressing for a creamier version (especially if using lettuce instead of rice).