This dish does not disappoint! Over the years it has become my favourite salad to throw together when invited to a friend’s place and asked to “bring a meal”. I made it recently when I was invited to a fun picnic in Central Park – I can honestly say it’s super portable and keeps fresh – even after a 45 minute walk in the hot, hot sun!
Aside from the fact this salad looks fantastic, the main carbohydrate is the very affordable, highly nutritious, wild rice. Funnily enough, wild rice is actually a seed produced by certain types of grasses that grow mainly in the Great Lakes Region in Northern America.
Good to know!
Whether it’s spring, summer, autumn or winter, this wild rice salad incorporates some great super food vegetables you can access all year ’round. I’ve thrown in some good healthy fats in the form of hazelnuts but you can totally use other nuts. In fact, as I type this, I’m planning on using pinenuts the next time I make it…mmmm…pinenuts… Sorry, I digress! The dressing I’ve included with this is an easy one to execute – if you don’t like sweet dressings, just nix the fresh orange juice, it will still taste all kinds of yum!
Wonderful Wild Rice Salad
- 1⁄2 cup wild rice, soaked overnight, drained, and rinsed
- 4 cups water
- 1⁄4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1⁄2 cup dried raisins*, chopped (or currants)
- 1⁄4 cup hazelnuts, toasted then crushed (toast in oven on at 350 F/180 C for 5-8 mins)
- Carrots 80g/3oz (1⁄2 large), thinly sliced
- Radish 80g/3oz (about 3), thinly sliced
- 2 scallions/spring onions, trimmed, minced
- 1/2 cup parsely, chopped finely
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Radicchio, 60g/2oz sliced very thinly to resemble hair-like strands
- Baby arugula (rocket) 60g/2oz, chopped
- 1⁄4 cup orange juice (about 1 orange)
- 2 tbs lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
- 2 tbs tahini
- 1 tbs balsamic vinegar
- 1⁄2 tsp sea salt
- 1⁄4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1⁄4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Combine rice with water and salt in a pot. Bring rice to boil, then reduce heat and simmer on low flame/heat, covered, until rice is tender but still a little chewy (should take about 20-25 minutes). Drain and set aside.
- Combine dressing ingredients in a blender until creamy (or you can whisk all of the elements together in a bowl if you don’t have a blender). Pour half of the dressing over the still-warm rice.
- When rice completely cools, combine with raisins, walnuts, carrots, radishes, scallions/spring onions and parsley. Season with salt and pepper, if needed.
- Toss radicchio and arugula with remaining dressing, arrange on plate, and top with rice salad.
*In Spring/Summer, try replacing dried raisins/currants with 1/4 cup rehydrated, drained, and chopped sun-dried tomatoes. Oh My YUM!