This sweet and savory salad is pure fall, delicious, and easy to toss together (and also vegan and gluten-free). It’s from the beautiful new cookbook by food writer and chef Robin Asbell, The Whole Grain Promise, which features more than 100 recipes using whole grains, from breakfasts and snacks to main courses and desserts. I’m excited to try the Overnight “Stealth” Pizza Dough, the Smoky Bacon and Grain Frittata, and the Pecan and Barley Burgers with Peach Ketchup. I like that she includes a primer for cooking all of the grains too.
Though this salad calls for wild rice, I swapped in Lundberg’s Wild Blend Rice.
Will your family freak out if you make this for Thanksgiving in lieu of the traditional sweet potato, marshmallow, and pineapple tidbit casserole? Maybe. But after the first bite, they’ll definitely forgive you.
Wild Rice, Pear & Roasted Sweet Potato Salad With Walnuts
- 3 cups water
- 1 cup wild rice or a blend
- 1 pound sweet potato cubed ( 4 cups)
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil divided
- 1/2 cup parsley leaves chopped
- 2 large scallions chopped (white and green parts)
- 2 medium ripe pears seeded and chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup Grade B
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup walnut pieces coarsely chopped
First, cook the wild rice. Truly wild rice and cultivated wild rice have very different cooking times. Add water to a 2-quart pot, and bring to a boil. Add the rice and return to the boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cover the pot. For hand-harvested wild rice, start checking in 20 minutes. Cultivated rice may take 45 minutes to 1 hour. When the rice is tender and just starting to split apart at the ends, drain well. Let cool.
Preheat the oven to 400° F. On a large sheet pan, toss the cubed sweet potatoes with a tablespoon of the olive oil. Roast for 20 minutes, stir, and roast for 10 more, depending on the size of your cubes. When the cubes are easily pierced with a paring knife, they are done. Let cool to room temperature.
In large bowl, combine the wild rice, cooled sweet potatoes, parsley, scallions, and pears. In a small bowl, whisk the remaining olive oil, lemon juice, maple syrup, salt, and pepper. Pour the dressing over the wild rice mixture, then toss to coat.
Serve topped with walnuts. This salad keeps, tightly covered, in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days. If you want to hold it longer, wait to chop the pears until just before serving.
Recipe reprinted with permission from The Whole Grain Promise: More Than 100 Recipes to Jumpstart a Healthier Diet, Running Press.