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In the Kitchen: Mediterranean Rice Bowl

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Yield: 4 servings.

Yogurt Sauce:
¼ cup Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon fresh mint, minced
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
½ teaspoon kosher salt

Tahini Sauce:
¼ cup tahini paste
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon kosher salt
¼ cup water, plus more as needed

Rice Bowl:
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 pound Neese’s Country Sausage
¼ yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, minced
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
2 medium cucumbers, diced into half-moons
½ cup cooked chickpeas
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Kosher salt to taste
2 cups medium or long grain white rice, cooked

For the yogurt sauce, stir together the yogurt, mint, olive oil, lemon, and salt until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Place the tahini paste in a bowl. Use a micro-plane grater or garlic press to crush the garlic cloves, make a paste, and add it to the bowl. Then add the lemon juice, salt, and water and whisk until smooth. Add more water, one tablespoon at a time, until the sauce is as smooth as desired. Refrigerate until ready to use.

In a medium-sized sauté pan or skillet, warm 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add the sausage. Break up the sausage as it cooks, and season with salt. Once cooked through, turn off the heat and transfer to a bowl. Add the onions, cilantro, and parsley, and then stir to combine.

In a separate bowl, combine the cucumber, chickpeas, remaining olive oil, vinegar, and salt.

To build a rice bowl, place about ½ cup of cooked rice in the bottom. Arrange the sausage mixture on one side and the cucumber salad on the other. Drizzle with yogurt and tahini sauce and serve.

This story was published on Jun 16, 2021

Alyssa Wilen

A Charlotte native, Wilen spent more than 12 years in the restaurant industry where she worked her way up to the role of Executive Chef before opening Chef Alyssa's Kitchen in 2013. She teaches award-winning cooking classes, hosts a Saturday brunch, and has created a family dinner meal service.