I love a wild rice salad. They're simple, nutritious and delicious. And, I always like to use whatever is locally in season. So, when I found some beautiful, locally grown beets from the farmers market this week, I roasted them up on the barbecue, being sure that I had leftovers to use in this great salad.
Did you know that wild rice, is not actually rice, but a grass? Wild rice has been a staple food of aboriginal peoples for hundreds of years. It grows in the cold rivers and lakes of our prairie provinces in Canada and the United States, here in North America, and is harvested by canoe.
Wild rice is highly nutritious. It's high in protein, the amino acid lysine and dietary fiber, and low in fat. Nutritional analysis shows wild rice to be second only to oats (quinoa was third) in protein content per 100 calories. Like true rice, it does not contain gluten. It is also a good source of certain minerals and B vitamins. One cup of cooked wild rice provides 5% or more of the daily value of thiamin, riboflavin, iron, and potassium; 10% or more of the daily value of niacin, b6, folate, magnesium, phosphorus; 15% of zinc; and over 20% of manganese. (wikopedia)
This rice salad came about because I had already roasted the beets and cooked wild rice from the night before. Roasted beets and wild rice are a great flavour match. They each have their own earthy flavour. Beets are sweetly earthy, where the rice has a nuttiness. I added the slightly bitter tastes of the beet tops, because, why waste that goodness, and walnuts in this salad to counter that sweetness of the beets. Fresh green parsley just plucked from the garden give the dish a perfect freshness.
This wild rice salad is unique, delicious, & super nutritious. Wild rice has a long cooking time, so plan ahead when cooking. It works in this recipe to cook your wild rice while the beets are roasting. Wild rice retains a slightly chewy texture when cooked. It isn't starchy like real rice, so you can make it ahead and store in the fridge for later. I like to multi task, and roast some beets when I have something else in the oven, or on the barbecue. Then I can put them in the fridge, as well, ready to go. You can make this for a picnic, barbecue or potluck and it will keep for a couple of days in the fridge.
This is one of my favourite pre workout lunches. All of those good, complex carbs loaded up in this salad will give you tons of energy to fuel you up for whatever your body is up against!
- One cup wild rice
- 2 cups water
- 3 medium beets, roasted, cooled, and cut into bite sized pieces
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 carrot, grated (or you can use a veggie peeler to make carrot ribbons instead)
- 1 cup beet greens, ribs removed and leaves chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
- * Dressing:
- 2 tbsp (30 ml) extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp. (30 ml) apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp. (30 ml) maple syrup or honey
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
- salt and pepper to taste
- Put wild rice and water into a pot with a tight fitting lid on high heat. Bring to a boil, then turn heat to low and allow to simmer for 40-50 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Trim and peel beets, Reserving the greens
- Cut beets into into quarters, and lightly oil them with olive oil.
- Wrap beets loosely in foil, & put the foil package on a baking sheet.
- Roast for about an hour, or until beets are fork tender.
- If your walnuts are not already toasted you can put them in a non stick pan over low heat and let them toast while the beets and rice are cooking. Toss them every few minutes and take them off the heat after about 15 minutes
- Allow beets and rice to cool. In a large bowl, toss all ingredients together with dressing. Serve immediately, or chill in fridge for later.
*Rice directions can vary; follow your package directions