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!

Wild Rice Recipe

Prep Time:10 minutes

5 / 5 (4 Reviews)
Did you make this recipe?   Leave a review »


  • 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.
All images and text ©

Making this recipe? Why not take a quick shot and share it on Instagram! Make sure to tag it #ASpicyPerspective so we can see what you're cooking!

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29 comments on “Mediterranean Wild Rice

  1. Steve Heikkilaposted August 10, 2015 at 5:17 pm Reply

    What a stunning dish this is, Sommer. The colorful pomegranate garnish reminds me a bit of Persian Jeweled Rice. It’s delicious! 

    Rating: 5
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  4. Michelle @ The Gathering of Friendsposted March 28, 2014 at 9:13 am Reply

    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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  7. Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabblesposted March 21, 2014 at 6:30 am Reply

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

  8. Shainaposted March 20, 2014 at 1:49 pm Reply

    Hilarious! I love the dish, too!

  9. marlaposted March 20, 2014 at 7:01 am Reply

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

  10. Megan {Country Cleaver}posted March 19, 2014 at 9:23 pm Reply

    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.

  11. Liz @ Floating Kitchenposted March 19, 2014 at 9:42 pm Reply

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

    Rating: 5
  12. Gabyposted March 19, 2014 at 1:29 pm Reply

    This looks like a great addition to dinner time!

  13. Georgia @ The Comfort of Cookingposted March 19, 2014 at 12:09 pm Reply

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

  14. Julie @ Table for Twoposted March 19, 2014 at 10:35 am Reply

    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 ;)

  15. Amy | Club Narwhalposted March 19, 2014 at 10:14 am Reply

    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!

  16. Leiliposted March 19, 2014 at 8:40 am Reply

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

  17. Jeanette | Jeanette's Healthy Livingposted March 19, 2014 at 8:14 am Reply

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

  18. Heather Christoposted March 19, 2014 at 7:39 am Reply

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

  19. Kevin @ Closet Cookingposted March 19, 2014 at 7:37 am Reply

    Nice! Love the crispy onion topping!

  20. Lana @ Never Enough Thymeposted March 19, 2014 at 7:34 am Reply

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

  21. Sandy @ ReluctantEntertainerposted March 19, 2014 at 7:20 am Reply

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

  22. Naomiposted March 19, 2014 at 9:12 am Reply

    I love the pomegranate in this!

    Rating: 5
  23. Tieghanposted March 19, 2014 at 7:05 am Reply

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

  24. Julie @ Running in a Skirtposted March 19, 2014 at 5:59 am Reply

    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!

  25. Norma | Allspice and Nutmegposted March 19, 2014 at 5:58 am Reply

    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?

    • Sommerposted March 19, 2014 at 7:36 am Reply

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

  26. Taylor @ Food Faith Fitnessposted March 19, 2014 at 5:54 am Reply

    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

  27. Alice // Hip Foodie Momposted March 19, 2014 at 7:10 am Reply

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

    Rating: 5
  28. Rochelle @ Oh So Sweet Bakerposted March 19, 2014 at 4:55 am Reply

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