Recipe for Mediterranean red rice salad with pomegranate & feta

Give your brain and body a reboot with this delicious fresh bowl salad from award-winning nutritionist Christine Bailey‘s new book The Brain Boost Diet.

The Brain Boost Diet Plan is a 4-week diet based on the principles of functional medicine and the latest research designed to cleanse, protect and renew your brain, unleashing its huge potential. Through this dietary approach you have the power to boost your mental health and capacity, tackle low mood, eliminate and prevent short term memory loss, forgetfulness and increase your brain-power. The book has over 100 recipes focused on supporting mental health.

Mediterranean Red Rice Salad with Pomegranate & Feta

Sweet pomegranate complements the sharp tanginess of the feta cheese in this mixed salad full of fresh flavours and crunch. Store the leftover dressing in the fridge and use to drizzle over salads or steamed vegetables.

Serves 2

80g/2¾oz/1/2 cup red rice

100g/3½oz fine green beans

50g/1¾oz/1/2 cup pistachio nuts

2tsp olive oil

finely grated zest of 1 lemon

½ red pepper/bell pepper, cut into thin matchsticks

1 courgette/zucchini, coarsely grated

1 handful of watercress, chopped

2 tbsp chopped parsley leaves

30g/1oz feta cheese, crumbled

2 tbsp fresh pomegranate seeds


6 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and chopped

4 pitted black olives, finely chopped {remove if needed for space}

1 tbsp finely chopped basil leaves

2 tbsp red wine or balsamic vinegar

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  1.  Put the rice in a saucepan and add double the volume of water. Bring to the boil then simmer for 20–30 minutes or until tender, or according to the package directions, drain and leave to one side.
  2. To make the dressing, put all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk them together.
  3. Bring a saucepan of water to the boil and blanch the green beans for 2–3 minutes until al dente. Drain in a colander.
  4. Put the nuts in a frying pan and toast them over a medium heat for 1–2 minutes or until just golden, shaking the pan frequently. Tip out of the pan on to a plate.
  5. Add the olive oil to the frying pan and add the lemon zest, capers, red pepper/bell pepper and courgette/zucchini, then stir-fry for 2 minutes or until hot and just beginning to turn golden. Add the rice, green beans and watercress, and continue to stir-fry for 2 minutes, or until heated through. Drizzle over a little of the dressing and scatter the toasted nuts, feta cheese and pomegranate over the top, then serve.

Brain Benefits
Red rice is rich in anthocyanidins, which are potent antioxidants (the same found in berries) that protect the body and brain. It also provides a good source of iron, zinc and manganese, plus B vitamins to support brain function and energy production.

Recipe courtesy of Christine Bailey’s new book The Brain Boost Diet (Nourish Books £12.99). Visit for more information.