There are some recipes that are outright winners. They don’t have to try very hard, they’re just naturally gifted, easy and worth getting excited about. This life changing wild rice salad is one of them. It’s the kind of recipe you can make off the top of your head. And, once you’ve made it, you will know its worth. Simple ingredients and exuberant greens that go with just about anything. If you’re at all besotted with grain bowls, as I am, this might be the new house favourite.
Things to look for in a life changing rice salad:
- Must double as a side or main meal (for vegetarian – add roast sweet potatoes and hummus)
- Excellent alongside grilled fish, chicken and meat
- Thoroughly nutty chew that’s convincingly gratifying
- Heaping, wholesome goodness
- Meal prep potential
- Eat tonight, pack for tomorrow’s lunch
- Greens and grains in one
- Maximises store cupboard ingredients
Top tips for the best rice salads:
- Rinse the grains well before cooking
- Cover with cold water, not hot or boiling
- Add sufficient salt to the cooking water
- Check the pack instructions for cooking times, then test about 5-8 minutes before the end of the cooking time. The grains need to be tender but with some bite
- Once cooked, drain under cold water then air dry to ensure the grains absorb the dressing without diluting the flavour
- Adjust the seasoning, if necessary, with either a little extra olive oil, lemon juice, salt or pepper.
- Rice salads should always be served at room temperature, even warm, not fridge cold.
Life changing wild rice salad
- coconut oil, for cooking
- 400g tin chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup wild rice, well rinsed
- 100g baby spinach
- 40g pack (about 2 large handfuls) rocket
- a generous handful mint, leaves picked
- 4 spring onions (scallions) thinly sliced
- zest of 1 lemon
- 100g feta, crumbled
- 1/3 cup of each, toasted pumpkin seeds and almonds
- micro herbs, for finishing
- 60ml (4 tablespoons) extra virgin olive oil
- 45ml (3 tablespoons) lemon juice
- 2.5ml (1/2 teaspoon) dried oregano
- 15ml (1 tablespoon) honey
- salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Cook the rice as per pack instructions. (see notes above)
- Rinse under cold water and drain well. Set aside to air-dry for about 10 minutes.
- In the meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon coconut oil in a non-stick pan. Add the chickpeas and toast over a high heat until crispy and golden. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
- Pile the spinach, rocket and mint onto a wooden board. Chop until all the greens are fine, almost shredded.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the rice, chickpeas, chopped greens, scallions, lemon zest and feta. Add half the toasted nuts and seeds and a generous handful of herbs.
- For the dressing, place all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk to combine. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat. Tip the salad onto a serving platter and finish with the remaining nuts and more micro herbs.
Recipes that are good with glorious bowl of grains:
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Apple slaw with sticky soy cashews
Rave reviews for this Chicken shawarma salad with spelt pilaf and zhoug yoghurt