Mediterranean Wild Rice

A fresh take on a wild rice recipe with chickpeas, pomegranate arils, and Mediterranean spice. Mediterranean wild rice makes a fragrant side dish or vegetarian main course.

Mediterranean Wild Rice Recipe with Pomegranate and Chickpeas #vegetarian #vegan

This morning I was reminded of a funny situation that happened a few months back…

A couple of my close friends and I took our daughters out for a girls night. We all dressed up and headed to what the girls considered a very fancy dinner. Then we headed to the theater to watch a ballet.

The girls, ranging in age from 9 to 11, were primly settled in their seats ready to take in the glory of the ballet. They silently watched with wide-eyes through the first few dances as the prima ballerina glided across the floor.

Then out came a male dancer, lifting the ballerina high into the air. The youngest of the three started giggling, followed by multiple chuckles, then uncontrollable laughter.

We (moms) glared down the aisle, shushing and whispering, “What’s the matter?!?”

The littlest daughter piped up and whispered loud enough to rock the balcony, “His pants!” We finally got the girls settled and watched the rest of the ballet in a civilized fashion.

Vibrant Mediterranean Wild Rice Recipe with Pomegranate and Chickpeas #vegetarian #vegan

Afterward we piled back into the car to drop off our friends. Because I’m curious, and a glutton for punishment, I had to know. Hesitantly I asked, “So……. what exactly was so funny about the dancer’s pants?”

Sweating a little while I waited for an answer, the girls looked at each other and in unison stated, “You could see his butt crack.”

Roaring laughter ensued in the back seat.

I looked over at my friend in the front and said, “Whew!”

Then of course roaring laughter broke out in the front seat.

Amazing Mediterranean Wild Rice Recipe with Pomegranate and Chickpeas #vegetarian #vegan

So what does this have to do with my Mediterranean Wild Rice Recipe?

Nothing. Nothing at all.

Only, I was thinking this wild rice recipe possesses a complex flavor profile that would appeal to a mature palate, then the butt crack story immediately came to mind.

Sorry about that.

Healthy Mediterranean Wild Rice Recipe with Pomegranate and Chickpeas #vegetarian #vegan

This blend of firm wild rice and aromatic basmati rice is loaded with mediterranean flavors. Sweet pomegranate arils, toasty spiced chickpeas, fresh herbs, and crispy shallots make this a vibrant side dish or vegetarian main course.

Although my daughter is still fairly immature in many ways, she too loved this mature wild rice recipe, with all its intricacies.

So it’s a stretch of a connection…

But I thought you’d still appreciate the relief of a mother who’s daughter is too innocent to notice the front of a man’s tight pants, but can pick out the scandalous blend of spices in a wild rice recipe!


Prep Time: 10 minutes

Wild Rice Recipe


  • 2/3 cup wild rice
  • 1 1/4 cup basmati rice
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 3 Tb. olive oil, divided
  • 1 tsp. curry powder
  • 1 tsp. garam masala
  • 1/3 cup fresh chopped cilantro
  • 3/4 cup pomegranate arils
  • 1 lime, zest and juice
  • 1 onion, peeled and sliced thin
  • 1 Tb. flour
  • Salt and Pepper


  1. Pour the wild rice in a small pot and cover with 2 cups water. Bring to a boil then stir, cover and reduce the heat. Cook the rice on low for 30-40 minutes, until firm, but tender. Remove from heat and keep covered until ready to use.
  2. In a second sauce pot, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil followed by the drained chickpeas, curry and garam masala. Place over medium-high heat and sprinkle with salt. Stir to coat the chickpeas in spice. Stir and saute for 4-5 minutes until the spices smell toasty. Then scrape the chickpeas and spices out of the the pot into a large bowl and add the basmati rice, 1 tsp. salt, and 2 1/2 cups of water to the empty pot. Bring to a boil, then stir, reduce the heat, and cover. Cook for approximately 15 minutes.
  3. Once the rice is cooked, fluff it with a fork and scoop it into the large bowl with the chickpeas. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to the sauce pot and toss the thinly sliced onion with flour. Place the pot over medium heat. Once the oil is smoking hot, add the onions and quickly stir them to coat and fry. When they are golden, scoop them out onto a paper towel lined plate and sprinkle them with salt and pepper.
  4. Drain any remaining water out of the wild rice and add the rice to the bowl. Top with the lime zest and juice, cilantro, and pomegranate arils. Toss, taste, and salt and pepper as needed. Serve with the crispy onions on top.

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28 Responses to “Mediterranean Wild Rice”

  1. #
    Rochelle @ Oh So Sweet Baker — March 19, 2014 @ 4:55 am

    Such beautiful colours running through this beautiful salad. Perfect for a quick lunch. Pinned!


  2. #
    Taylor @ Food Faith Fitness — March 19, 2014 @ 5:54 am

    Haha I love that story! And the fact that it had nothing to do with the dish. Story of my life!
    I just bought a bunch of rice that is BEGGING to be used in this beautiful salad! Pinned


  3. #
    Norma | Allspice and Nutmeg — March 19, 2014 @ 5:58 am

    Love that story. The innocence of little girls is so precious though. This wild rice looks gorgeous and delicious. Where did you find pomegranate this time of year?


    • Sommer — March 19th, 2014 @ 7:36 am

      Hey Norma, I found them at Harris Teeter. Not sure what grocery chains you have near you…


  4. #
    Julie @ Running in a Skirt — March 19, 2014 @ 5:59 am

    Oh wow! I’m so happy she was just laughing at the back side! She is such a darling young lady… I’m glad she is not growing up too fast!


  5. #
    Tieghan — March 19, 2014 @ 7:05 am

    This is so pretty! Such amazing colors! Love the rice! :)


  6. #
    Alice // Hip Foodie Mom — March 19, 2014 @ 7:10 am

    Sommer, I love everything about this rice!!! Pinned! so beautiful!


  7. #
    Sandy @ ReluctantEntertainer — March 19, 2014 @ 7:20 am

    Looks fabulous, Sommer. Love the touch of pomegranates too!


  8. #
    Lana @ Never Enough Thyme — March 19, 2014 @ 7:34 am

    Thanks for the morning chuckle, Sommer! And the recipe — absolutely gorgeous. The colors alone would make me want to dive right into this.


  9. #
    Kevin @ Closet Cooking — March 19, 2014 @ 7:37 am

    Nice! Love the crispy onion topping!


  10. #
    Heather Christo — March 19, 2014 @ 7:39 am

    little girls are so cute! Good think still so innocent too :) Gorgeous rice salad Sommer- the fried onions are amazing!


  11. #
    Jeanette | Jeanette's Healthy Living — March 19, 2014 @ 8:14 am

    Such a funny story Sommer! Love the bright colors and flavors in this rice dish!


  12. #
    Leili — March 19, 2014 @ 8:40 am

    This is a beautiful rice. A good option for side dish here in Brazil (because we really like rice). Thank you!


  13. #
    Naomi — March 19, 2014 @ 9:12 am

    I love the pomegranate in this!


  14. #
    Amy | Club Narwhal — March 19, 2014 @ 10:14 am

    Sommer, I am dying over that story–from both the front and back seat :) Love those crispy onions on top. You just can’t go wrong with these beautiful flavors!


  15. #
    Julie @ Table for Two — March 19, 2014 @ 10:35 am

    Hahahaha I love your correlation of this mature palate to the butt crack of the male dancer the girls were laughing about. I swear these things have been happening to a bunch of my mom friends lately! There was one that said her son said he understood what “hot sax” was from a Jimmy Fallon skit and her and her husband were like ‘oh my gawd, what?’ and he said completely OPPOSITE of what it was. Phew! I’ll know what to look forward to when I have kiddos! This rice will calm me down ;)


  16. #
    Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking — March 19, 2014 @ 12:09 pm

    Oh man, does this look delish! Love that fried onion topping, too!


  17. #
    Gaby — March 19, 2014 @ 1:29 pm

    This looks like a great addition to dinner time!


  18. #
    Megan {Country Cleaver} — March 19, 2014 @ 9:23 pm

    LOL – Simultaneous relief and hilarity in one ballet!! I can’t say I wouldn’t laugh a little myself either! But then again I’m apparently still 12. Also – this salad is beautiful.


  19. #
    Liz @ Floating Kitchen — March 19, 2014 @ 9:42 pm

    Love the fried onions on this. Looks incredible! And great story :-)


  20. #
    marla — March 20, 2014 @ 7:01 am

    This is gorgeous!!! Love those fried onions :)


  21. #
    Shaina — March 20, 2014 @ 1:49 pm

    Hilarious! I love the dish, too!


  22. #
    Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabbles — March 21, 2014 @ 6:30 am

    That sounds about what I would expect from my crew! ;) Beautiful dish, Sommer.


  23. #
    Michelle @ The Gathering of Friends — March 28, 2014 @ 9:13 am

    What a fun combination of flavors! And it’s beautiful too! I featured this salad in our Feature Friday today for “20 Delectable Salads” I hope you can stop by and check out your recipe!



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