This salad is so good!!!!!! I can’t use enough exclamation marks to convey how delish it is. Picture your favorite spring veggies (which can totally be subbed out based on what you have at home), loads of fresh herbs, warm and fluffy wild rice, and an easy homemade lemon vinaigrette drizzled over top. It doesn’t get much better than that, in my opinion.
This dish is hearty enough to be a vegetarian main for lunch or dinner, or serve it with a protein of your choice, such as grilled chicken or broiled salmon. It’s great for meal prep, too! If meal prepping, I like to pack it with an extra wedge of lemon to give it a bright pop just before eating. Let’s make it!
Ingredients needed to make Warm Spring Veggie and Wild Rice Salad
You’ll need a few cups of cooked wild rice and a boat load of veggies to make this salad. I’ve listed the ones I used for this recipe (also the ones I believe taste the best), but don’t be afraid to substitute, omit, or embellish as desired. No veggie is a bad veggie in this salad. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Wild rice blend
- Shelled english peas
- Fresh dill
- Fresh parsley
- Fresh mint
- Fresh lemon juice
- Olive oil
- Black pepper
That’s really it! It sounds like a lot of ingredients, but the nice part is that most of them are found in the same area of the grocery store. So, you won’t have to do a lot of searching while shopping.
Tools used to make Warm Spring Veggie and Wild Rice Salad
I love this dish because it uses so few tools to pull together. I love batch cooking a grain on Sunday to use throughout the week ahead, so you could easily do that here! My favorite method for cooking wild rice* is as follows: combine 1 cup wild rice blend with 2 cups water or broth in the bowl of your Instant Pot, then cook at high pressure for 30 minutes. Let the Instant Pot naturally release the pressure and you’ll have perfectly fluffy (and hands-off) wild rice! Then, to make this a “warm” salad, I simply heat the rice over the stove or in the microwave before adding the other ingredients. You could do that, or just make your rice right before preparing the dish. Either option works.
If you cook your wild rice ahead of time, then your equipment list is literally this short:
- Cutting board
- Very sharp knife
- Mandoline (optional)
- Large mixing bowl
- Wet measuring cup
If you cook your wild rice just before making this dish, you’ll need to add either an Instant Pot or a pot with a lid to your equipment list, as well as a dry measuring cup. Pretty simple stuff!
How to make Warm Spring Veggie and Wild Rice Salad
You’ll begin by cooking your rice, either in the Instant Pot or over the stove according to package directions. If using the Instant Pot, see above for my favorite method for cooking it*.
While the rice cooks, prepare the vegetables. Slice, dice, chop, mince, etc. and add it all to a bowl. To make the lemon vinaigrette, combine the juice of one lemon, 1/2 cup olive oil, 1 tbsp honey, salt, and black pepper and whisk until emulsified.
When the rice is done, add ~2 cups cooked rice to the bowl with the prepared veggies and herbs. Add the dressing and toss thoroughly, seasoning with additional salt and pepper as needed. Serve warm or chilled!
Looking for other salad ideas?
Try these recipes from The Ardent Cook!
Celery Salad with Golden Raisins, Lemon, and Za’atar
Warm Roasted Cauliflower Salad
1 cup dry wild rice blend
2 cups water or broth
3-5 small radishes, very thinly sliced or cut on mandoline
1 medium carrot, very thinly sliced or cut on mandoline
1 medium English cucumber, quartered then sliced
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1 cup shelled English peas, blanched
1 cup mixed herbs, minced (I used parsley, dill, and mint- but anything works!)
1 lemon, juiced
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tbsp honey
Salt and black pepper, to taste
- Make the wild rice. Combine wild rice and water or broth in a pot and cook according to package instructions. If using Instant Pot, cook on high pressure for 30 minutes, allow natural pressure release, then fluff with a fork.
- Prepare the vegetables. Slice radishes, carrot, cucumber, and scallions. Mince the herbs. Blanch the peas by boiling them in water until they just start to float (about 2 minutes), then drain and immediately rinse with very cold water. Add all the veggies to a large mixing bowl.
- Make the lemon vinaigrette. Combine juice of 1 lemon, olive oil, honey, salt, and pepper. Whisk until emulsified.
- Once the rice is done, add ~2 cups cooked wild rice to the mixing bowl with the prepared veggies and herbs. Pour the lemon vinaigrette all over and mix very thoroughly.
- Season again with salt and pepper, and enjoy warm or serve chilled later.
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