White bowl of green rice with almonds and seeds on white marble

Basmati Rice with Salsa Verde

  • Author: Paula Montenegro
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 2-4 servings 1x
  • Category: Grains - Side dishes
  • Method: Mixing
  • Cuisine: International


Basmati Rice with Salsa Verde is full of seeds and toasted almonds, all components can be made ahead and it's super versatile. It's the perfect rice salad for a light lunch, a buffet table or even to take to work.

*I use turmeric to cook the rice (it gives it that yellow green hue), but it stains a bit, so you might want to omit it or add it after the rice is cooked.



For the salsa:

Keep in mind that the quantities are not exact, that's why I talk about bunch and medium sized. Adapt to your personal taste.

  • 1 bunch arugula (clean and dry)
  • 1 medium green onion
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 4-5 green olives (pitted)
  • 2 tbs mayonnaise
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the rice:

  • 2 cups uncooked basmati rice
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric (optional, see notes)
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds (toasted)
  • 2 Tbs sunflower seeds (lightly toasted)
  • 1 Tbs sesame seeds (lightly toasted)
  • 2 Tbs chopped green onions
  • Fresh parsley (chopped)


For the salsa:

  1. In a processor put chopped arugula, chopped green onion (only white and light green parts), coarsely chopped parsley and basil, mashed olives, and mayonnaise.
  2. Add olive oil, about 1/4 cup and start to process. Add more oil if it’s dry until you have a creamy salsa.
  3. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Keep covered in a jar in the fridge with a thin layer of olive oil on top.

For the rice:

  1. Cook basmati rice according to package direction with salt and turmeric if using. Drain, transfer to a large bowl, drizzle with some olive oil, mix and let cool.
  2. Mix with salsa verde to taste.
  3. Add almonds, seeds and green onions, a drizzle of olive oil, fresh parsley and some black pepper.


Sliced almonds - they add a crunch unlike any other nut in my opinion. But use chopped almonds if that's all you have or even pecans.

Turmeric - I put it directly into the rice water at the beginning, but it stained my white colander (I know!) so now I add it after the rice is done. Or to the salsa verde. You can skip it too.

Seeds - sesame and sunflower, lightly toasted add a fantastic flavor.


  • Cook the rice, drain and keep covered in the refrigerator until needed.
  • The same goes for the salsa verde. Put it in a glass jar and add a thin layer of oil on top before closing to keep it vibrant for a longer time.

Keywords: rice with salsa verde