Spring produce is in full swing, here in California. As much as I love my winter greens and squashes, it is time to happily welcome in spring produce. Strawberries, sugar snap peas and asparagus are just a few of my favorites. A new season is so refreshing and especially great for clearing your palate with spring foods and flavors. This Wild Rice Spring Salad is light and satisfying. Perfect as a vegetarian main entrée or side dish to any meal.
The wild rice is accompanied by asparagus, English peas and goat cheese for a salad full of great texture, and I am definitely a texture person. The asparagus and peas make this fiber-packed and a good source of protein. One cup of asparagus has 3.6 grams of fiber and 4.3 grams of protein, while one cup of peas has 8.8 grams of fiber and 8.2 grams of protein!
Asparagus is a spring staple for me. I could definitely eat the green, fibrous stuff on a daily basis. My favorite way to prepare asparagus is to simply roast them in the oven with some oil, salt and pepper, or sprinkling some Parmesan cheese instead of salt prior to baking. Asparagus is nutrient-packed, a good source of folate, Vitamins C, E and B6.
A simple, lemony vinaigrette goes beautifully with this type of salad. Just whisk together extra-virgin olive oil, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, honey, salt and pepper. Pour the dressing over the wild rice, asparagus, peas and goat cheese and you have yourself a spring pleaser.
I brought this Wild Rice Spring Salad for our Food Bloggers of LA Spring meeting a couple of weeks ago and was very happy by all of the delicious spring recipes that were shared. Get to your local farmers market to make the best of your spring produce!
Wild Rice Spring Salad
1 cup dry wild rice, cooked
1 bunch asparagus
1 cup peas
Goat cheese, crumbled
Lemon Vinaigrette (see below)
Cook the wild rice according to package directions (about 45 minutes). Set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Toss the asparagus with olive/canola oil, salt and pepper and bake for about 20 minutes at 400 degrees. After the asparagus has finished cooking and cooled down a bit, cut into 1 inch pieces.
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Juice from 1 fresh lemon
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients into a mason jar; shake well.
Combine the wild rice, asparagus, peas and goat cheese in a large bowl. Pour the lemon vinaigrette over rice mixture and toss to combine. Serve salad chilled or at room temperature. I did not use all of the vinaigrette – dress to taste.