I love 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, making sure that I had leftovers to use in this great salad.
Wild Rice: It Isn’t Really Rice
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 Salad Is Nutritious
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)
Don’t Waste Those Tasty Beet Tops
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 great flavour matches. 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 gives the dish a perfect touch of freshness.
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 it 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.
Good Complex Carbs = Energy
This satisfying wild rice salad 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!
Wild Rice & Roasted Beet Salad
- 1 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
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp. maple syrup
- 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 it to cool.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Trim and peel beets, Reserving the greens
- Cut beets into quarters, and lightly oil them with olive oil.
- Wrap beets loosely in foil, & put the foil package on a baking sheet.
- Roast 40-50 minutes, or until beets are fork-tender. Remove from foil and allow to cool.
- Toast walnuts in a non-stick pan over low heat while the beets and rice are cooking. Toss them every few minutes and remove from heat after about 15 minutes
- Allow beets and rice to cool. In a large bowl, toss all ingredients together with the dressing. Serve immediately, or chill in the fridge for later.