A Salad Sundae


Brown Rice and Chick Pea Sundae Salad Recipe

Yield: 6 to 8  |  Total time: 15 min
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Last night, I started to make a quick pasta dish from what I had on hand.  When I realized I didn't have enough of the same shape pasta, I started cooking some brown rice.  Luckily, my neighbor brought over pasta and I left the rice to cook and cool while we had dinner.  Then I was left with what to do with the leftover cooked rice.  I love grain salads--they're easy to pack for lunches or to have as a snack after a work out--and am always tossing in leftovers with whatever leftover cooked grains I have on hand. 

As I was figuring out what to call this layered salad and how to present it in an appetizing way, I remembered my good friend Scott Jones, who actually inspired the "sundae" part of this recipe.  Actually, Scott (along with Donna, Lyda, and John Floyd) was partially responsible for convincing me to move to Alabama and work for Southern Living magazine.  If you're not familiar with Scott's work, visit his site (make sure you scroll down on the about page for the best photo ever!) and read about how the BBQ Sundae came to be.

For this recipe, I encourage you to experiment with the grains and the flavors; I had some leftover salsa verde (capers, white wine vinegar, lemon zest, cilantro, mint, and parsley, olive oil) from grilled vegetables and steaks over the weekend and thought that might be good to layer in, both for color and flavor. Use individual glasses or Mason jars for serving. 



  • 3 cups cooked brown rice (note: 1 cup raw yields about 3 cups cooked)
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt and fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped ripe tomatoes
  • 1 (15-ounce) can chick peas, drained
  • 4 to 5 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup packed fresh chopped herbs, such as mint, basil, cilantro
  • Optional: capers, tuna, green peas, etc.


  1. Set out 1 glass or glass jar per person
  2. Toss rice with lemon juice and some salt and pepper, to taste.  Layer the bottom of each glass with tomatoes, top with a layer of rice, add a layer of chick peas, and continue with remaining ingredients.  Drizzle with more olive oil and some finishing salt and pepper.


Date Published: May 16, 2013

All recipes have been tested by the Test Kitchens unless otherwise noted.

6 comments... read them below or add one


  1. May 16, 2013 5:10 am by Donna Reply


    • May 16, 2013 8:58 am by kim Reply

      Miss D. Do you have a site I can link to? xo

  2. May 16, 2013 6:56 am by jann Reply

    That is gorgeous, Kim!

    • May 16, 2013 8:58 am by kim Reply

      Thanks, Jann! How nice to hear from you. What are you cooking these days in Sicily?

  3. May 16, 2013 9:52 am by Stacey Morris Reply

    Absolutely gorgeous, Kim. I have some quinoa in the refrigerator and this will be the perfect way to put it to work. Who said all sundaes have to be destructive?

    • May 16, 2013 10:15 am by kim Reply

      You’re right, Stacey! Let me know how your “sundae” comes out. The best thing about this recipe is that you can add in so many different flavor combinations.

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