Salade Orientale

James Beard

Author and Educator

We can’t figure out why James Beard titled his recipe “Salade Orientale,” since, other than rice, there’s nothing of the orient in it. But no matter, it’s a delicious rice salad that’s perfect for lunch or a light summertime dinner. For added flavor, try marinating the shrimp in olive oil, garlic and herbs of your choice before grilling or broiling them, being careful not to let them dry out. As alternatives, 1 cup mussels steamed in white wine, bite-sized chunks of cooked lobster, or quickly sautéed bay scallops can replace the shrimp and/or crabmeat.


  • 2 cups white or brown rice
  • 4 cups water
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper (to taste)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked medium shrimp, cut in half
  • 1 cup crabmeat
  • 1/2 cup finely cut celery
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped green or red onion
  • 1/2 cup peeled, seeded and finely diced cucumber



Boil water and add rice. Lower heat and cover the saucepan. Cook white rice for about 15 minutes, brown rice for 40 minutes, until it is bitingly tender, but not mushy. Remove from heat and place in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper and toss gently with olive oil, using two forks to separate the rice kernels. Let cool.

Combine shrimp and crabmeat with the celery, onions, and cucumber. Toss gently with the rice and vinaigrette.


Place vinegar, mustard, and salt and pepper in a bowl and whisk vigorously until the ingredients are combined. Slowly pour in the olive oil, whisking gently at first to incorporate, then more quickly as the vinaigrette becomes emulsified. Add tarragon and stir.


8 servings