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A speckled blue bowl on a pale wooden board, with a rice salad with cranberries, pistachios, feta and fresh herbs.
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4.67 from 3 votes

Brown Rice Salad with Cranberries, Pistachios and Feta

This festive salad, studded with red cranberries, green herbs and pistachios and white feta is perfect as a Christmas side dish, but we love it all year round.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Appetizer, Main Course, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: Australian, Mediterranean
Keyword: brown rice salad, rice salad with cranberries pistachios and feta, steam oven rice salad
Servings: 8
Calories: 342kcal



Cook the rice

  • Mix the rice with 3 cups (750ml) cold water in a shallow stainless steel tray. Put in your steam oven and set to 212°F/100°C, steam setting (100% humidity). Cook for 40-45 minutes until the rice is tender. Fluff with a fork and set aside while you get the dressing ready.

Make dressing and assemble salad

  • To make the dressing, whisk the oil, vinegar, sumac powder and harissa paste in a small bowl.
  • Put the warm rice into a bowl. Add the cranberries, pour the dressing over and mix well to combine. Let the rice cool to room temperature. If you’d like to hold off serving for a while, cover the bowl at this point and put in the fridge until about 20 minutes before you’re ready to serve. It'll keep for up to 8 hours like this.
  • When you’re ready to serve, add the herbs to the rice mixture and stir to combine. Put into a serving bowl or spread out on a platter and scatter the nuts and Persian feta over the top. Serve at room temperature.


  1. This serves 8 people comfortably as a side dish that's part of a buffet, or 4 as a more substantial meal salad.
  2. Don’t shy away from the quantity of herbs here - use a large bunch each of the mint and parsley. You want them to act as the leafy component of the salad and their freshness should offset the earthiness of the rice.
  3. The harissa paste I use in the dressing is quite garlicky and spicy. If yours is less so, or you can’t find harissa, feel free to add a minced clove of fresh garlic and some freshly chopped red chilli.
  4. If you want to make this ahead of time, you can do it right up to the end of step 3. Add the herbs, nuts and cheese shortly before serving.
  5. Leftovers will keep for up to 3 days in the fridge, although the nuts will soften over time.  


Calories: 342kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 11mg | Sodium: 166mg | Potassium: 221mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 108IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 85mg | Iron: 1mg