This wild rice salad is loaded up with all kinds of goodness. Crunchy vegetables, a tangy lemon vinaigrette and delicious sweet busts from organic dried fruit. Perfect for making ahead and versatile too. Thanks to Fruit Bliss for sponsoring this post.
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I don't know about you, but as we move in to fall (how, already?!), I'm less likely to reach for leafy greens and prefer slightly heartier salads. I'm also always up for lunch ideas that I can make ahead to make mornings easier. Even better if they hold up to being packed as well (like one of these make ahead salads).
This wild rice salad is a wonderfully tasty combination that's also incredibly versatile. It's vegan, gluten free and packed with great ingredients. It works perfectly on it's own as a lunch, but is also ideal as a side dish or on a potluck table.
It's one of those salads that you almost feel healthy eating it, and with good reason. Wild rice is a great whole grain that has a nice nutty flavor and doesn't feel too heavy. I've used it before in my butternut squash wild rice salad and acorn squash wild rice salad. Some grated beets and diced pepper add color and some more great nutrients, not to mention the organic dried fruit.
But despite all those good things, this salad isn't lacking in flavor and will leave you feeling satisfied. Especially the lemon vinaigrette gives a real zinginess that holds it all together.
Probably my favorite part of this salad, though, is the sweet little bursts of flavor from the organic dried fruit in it. I have used a mix of Fruit Bliss's tart cherries, apricots and deglet nour dates that give a wonderful blend of flavor.
Fruit Bliss berries are that bit different from your typical dried fruit in that they are dried without any preservatives or sulphur, then gently rehydrated with a little steam. This means they are soft and ready to eat straight out the bag, or incorporate into dishes like this.
My kids and I have been happily snacking on the apricots and dates any chance we get, and can't wait to try some of the other options. Knowing they are organic and non-GMO is an added bonus.
This wild rice salad is a wonderful combination of textures and flavors. A little tart from the vinaigrette, sweet from the dried fruit, with crunchy veg and tender fruit. And a whole lot of wholesome tastiness. Whether you enjoy it immediately, or make it to pack with you, make sure you enjoy it soon.
Try these other hearty salads:
- Vegan lentil salad with roasted Brussels sprouts and grapes
- Black bean sweet potato salad
- Acorn squash wild rice salad
- Plus try more make ahead salad ideas as well as get lunch recipes in the archives.
Wild rice salad
- ½ cup wild rice
- ½ red pepper
- 2 ribs celery
- ¼ cup chopped parsley
- 4 oz grated beets approx - 1 small beet, raw
- 3 tablespoon sunflower seeds - suggest roasted unsalted
- ¼ cup tart cherries - recommend Fruit Bliss
- 10 dried apricots - recommend Fruit Bliss
- 8 dates - recommend Fruit Bliss deglet nour
For the vinaigrette:
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 clove garlic crushed
- Salt and pepper
- Cook the wild rice according to packet instructions - I find approx 1 ¼ cups water with the ½ cup rice, brought to a bowl and simmered for approx 40 minutes works well. Cook until tender but still nutty rather than overly soft and bursting open.
- Meanwhile, dice the pepper, slice the celery and chop the parsley. Coarsely grate the beet and measure out the sunflower seeds and cherries. Roughly chop the apricots (around in quarters) and dates (around 6 pieces per date).
- When wild rice is cooked, remove from heat. Whisk or shake together in a little jar the ingredients for the vinaigrette. Pour over the cooked rice and mix through. Let cool a little then add all of the other ingredients. Mix well and serve room temperature or cool. This salad works well made ahead.
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