Photo: Johnny Autry; Styling: Mary Clayton Carl
Hands-on Time
12 Mins
Total Time
1 Hour 15 Mins
Serves 4 (serving size: about 1 cup)

Fresh tomatoes, zucchini, basil, and toasted pine nuts bring this rice salad to life. Serve it with 1 pound roasted fresh green beans.

How to Make It

Combine the first 9 ingredients in a large bowl, and toss until well blended. Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add zucchini; sauté 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add zucchini and remaining 2 tablespoons oil to rice mixture; toss. Top with shaved Parmesan cheese.

Ratings & Reviews

rlepere's Review

August 30, 2013
I did switch out the pine nuts for cashews, only because I don't like pine nuts. Clean, fresh, easy summer recipe.

August 14, 2017
I just made this again but with almost everything substituted - which shows how versatile this recipe is.  I needed to use up some summer veggies but I didn't have tomatoes and my husband doesn't like zucchini.  I also had some leftover cooked quinoa on hand.  I used this instead of brown rice and supplemented with fresh corn, cutting the kernels off the cob directly into the skillet.  While the corn cooked on one side I added the edamame on the other with a little water to steam, and julienned a carrot to serve as the "sweet" instead of tomato.  When the corn was done I removed it and added the carrots and then a couple of sliced radishes, cooking both to crisp-tender.  I didn't have pine nuts so I used pistachios. and as the flavor profile was now more Southwest than Italian I used lime instead of lemon, cilantro instead of basil and goat cheese crumbles instead of Parmesan (although feta would have been good too).  It was actually pretty good. 

juliecrozier's Review

May 29, 2013
Just made for the first time and loved it! I ripped this recipe out last year and rediscovered it a year later and so glad I did! I sort of made it my own. No zucs at the store so I skipped that part. I used wild and brown rice and barely any oil. It was yummy and I'll be recommending it to my friends and family.

detailaddict's Review

July 31, 2012
Simple, fresh and tasty...But I agree that this would have been WAY too lemony had I used the full amount of juice, even fresh. I used 1/2T each of fresh Meyer lemon juice and bottled juice, intending to add more once it was all assembled; but this was quite enough. I used pattypan squash in place of zucchini and cut the amount by half as my husband doesn't eat squash, and was able to cut the oil by more than 2/3 as a result. I also used just 1/2t of salt as I had seasoned the squash directly. Finally I doubled the amount of pine nuts, but without the extra oil the calories were about the same. The flavor combination was just right, and would have been fine even without the Parmesan. We ended up with 3 servings, likely due to the reduction in squash and possibly too little rice (I guessed that 1/3c was the correct amount to cook; this would have been helpful to include), and to larger servings. Like the other reviewer I served this lukewarm, but as a stand-alone dish.

Kalilama's Review

August 27, 2012

DanaSam's Review

September 03, 2012
I made this for a girls' night on the deck...served with a dry rosé...a perfect summer meal that highlights the veggies of the season...

atremag's Review

July 10, 2012
I disagree with the previous review. I did not find this recipe too "lemony." I thought the tartness blended well with the vegetables and was balanced by the parmesan, and I most likely used more rind and juice than called for in the recipe. Other than that I followed the recipe exactly. It made more than 4 1-cup servings, more like 6. Also, I didn't let the rice cool completely, so the recipe was served warm, which I prefer anyway. This was a delicious summer recipe. A good use of zucchinis from our garden!

marthalyke's Review

June 17, 2012

nancyb123's Review

June 27, 2013
I have made this several times and it always meets rave reviews from everyone. I add about half the lemon juice, especially if I am using the rind. It is currently my go-to picnic side.

renecj's Review

August 01, 2012
This is a delicious healthy meal, great for bringing to work for lunch. I didnt feel too lemony at all, just make sure you add the salt to counteract the acid and take the time to use fresh lemon. The Parmesen also adds a good flavor. I only added one TBS of oil at the end and that was enough. I also didnt halve the tomatoes as I knew I was bringing for lunch and didnt want them to make the dish too soggy.