Lemon Herb Wild Rice Salad

November 4, 2021

Lemon Herb Wild Rice Salad

With arugula, scallions, parsley and chopped pistachios, this simple lemon herb wild rice salad is a salad and side dish in a single recipe.

With arugula, scallions, parsley and chopped pistachios, this simple lemon herb wild rice salad is a salad and side dish in a single recipe.

Lemon Herb Wild Rice Salad

The moment you put more grains in a salad than greens, it can play two different parts in a meal: side or salad. Take your pick! Truly the perfect salad.

Besides calling it both, you can consider it a two for one deal that gets you out of making another dish. Think of that as the ultimate timesaver.

A kind of grain that I really love in a hearty salad is wild rice. No brand’s mix is ever quite the same. I am always fascinated by the crafted blends of brown rice and wild rice grains. And don’t hesitate to serve it as a main dish salad too.

Wild Rice is a Must-Have Pantry Ingredient

Wild rice is the foundation of this recipe. I keep it along with so many other grains stocked in my pantry. That’s because they are all a solid starting point for lots of salads and side dishes.

In this recipe, I use the freshness of lemon juice, scallions, parsley, chives and peppery arugula to pair with the earthy wild rice. Then I include some crunch with chopped pistachios.

What is Wild Rice?

Naturally grown in fresh shallow water, wild rice is a semi-aquatic grass. That means it’s not actually true rice even though that’s what we call it. 

Any wild rice blend is wholesome in appearance and nutrition. If you are wondering, yes, it ticks the box for whole grains, and it is gluten free too. It has a wonderfully chewy texture and nutty flavor. (source)

Lemon Herb Wild Rice Salad

How To Cook Wild Rice

Since the mix of grains in a certain brand’s wild rice will vary from another’s, always start by reading the cooking instructions on the package.

The typical liquid to rice ratio is 4 to 1. That means you will need to 4 cups of liquid to cook 1 cup of dry rice.

Instead of water, in this recipe I like simmering the grains on the stove in vegetable broth, so they turn out richer and creamier.

Cooking Basic Wild Rice

  1. Rinse the rise.  The best way to do this is to rinse it with cold water in a fine mesh strainer.
  2. Combine the rice and vegetable broth in a large saucepan. Bring the mixture a boil.
  3. Reduce the heat to low and simmer with the pan covered.
  4. Check the rice for doneness around 45 minutes. Make sure to read the recommended cook time on the package instructions. The rice should still be somewhat chewy when it is ready. This gives you plenty of time to multitask and make the dressing.
  5. Drain any excess liquid from the pan.
  6. Let the rice stand covered for 5 minutes.
  7. Fluff the rice with a fork.
WIld rice salad ingredients including arugula lemon, pistachios and herbs

Salad Ingredients & Substitutions

This is what you need for this wild rice salad recipe:

  • Wild rice: Experiment with different brands. See which blend of grains you like best.
  • Vegetable broth: Similar to soup, I always use low-sodium broth, so I can really control the seasonings. You can also use chicken broth if you aren’t a vegetarian or vegan.
  • Arugula: Whenever I am adding a handful (or two) of fresh greens to finish a dish, I reach for arugula for its peppery, almost spicy bite. If you have more sturdy greens like kale in your kitchen, chop it and stir that into the rice instead.
  • Scallions: These green onions have lots of flavor.
  • Parsley and chives: To enhance the rice with fresh herbs, I stir in both chopped parsley and minced chives.
  • Pistachios are my first choice for nuts in this salad, but crunchy pecans, walnuts or pine nuts are also good choices.
  • Lemon: Not letting anything go to waste, I mix the lemon zest into the rice and include the juice in the dressing.
  • Garlic: The dressing also has a minced garlic clove.
  • Olive oil: It’s best to use extra virgin olive oil.
  • Mustard: I whisk a spoonful of whole grain mustard into the dressing.
  • Salt & pepper: The easiest way to season the overall dish is to stir salt and pepper in the dressing.

How To Make A Lemon Herb Wild Rice Salad

For this recipe, I like to add more flavor to the rice. That’s why I start, by sautéing sliced white scallions in olive oil before adding the rice and vegetable broth to the saucepan.

  1. Rinse the rice with cold water in a fine mesh strainer.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan and sauté the sliced scallions.
  3. Add the rice and vegetable broth and bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce the heat and simmer covered for 45-50 minutes until the grains are cooked but still have some bite.
  5. Drain any remaining liquid from the pan.
  6. Let the rice stand for 5 minutes covered before fluffing with a fork. Transfer the rice to a large bowl.
  7. Make the salad dressing. Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, mustard, salt and pepper in a small bowl. (You can do this while the rice is simmering.)
  8. Stir the dressing into the rice.
  9. Fold the lemon zest, scallion greens, arugula, pistachios, parsley and chives into the rice.

Make-Ahead Tips For This Wild Rice Salad

You can make the rice a couple days in advance. Just let it cool to room temperature before you put it into an airtight container to store in the refrigerator.

Depending how cold you prefer to serve the salad, you may want to give the rice a little time to sit out on the counter before you plan to make the dressing and combine it with the other ingredients.

More Wild Rice Recipes

Roasted Beet Wild Rice
Sweet Potato Wild Rice with Red Grapes
Pumpkin Wild Rice Salad
Lentil Wild Rice Soup
Corn Tomato Wild Rice Salad

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Lemon Herb Wild Rice Salad

Lemon Herb Wild Rice Salad

  • Author: Paige Adams
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45-50 minutes
  • Total Time: 55-60 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Simmering
  • Cuisine: American

Description

With arugula, scallions, parsley and chopped pistachios, this simple lemon herb wild rice salad is a salad and side dish in a single recipe.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 cup wild rice
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 scallions sliced, white and green parts separated
  • 4 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon whole grain mustard
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup baby arugula
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped pistachios
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon minced chives

Instructions

  1. Rinse the rice with cold water in a fine mesh strainer.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil into a large saucepan over medium heat. Sauté the white parts of the scallions until they start to soften, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add the rice and vegetable broth and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 45-50 minutes. Check the doneness of the rice. The grains should be cooked but still chewy. (Also refer to the package instructions for recommended cook time).
  4. Drain any remaining liquid from the saucepan. Let the rice sit covered for 5 minutes. Then fluff it with a fork and transfer rice to a large bowl.
  5. While the rice is simmering, make the dressing. In a small bowl, whisk together 3 tablespoons olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, mustard, salt and pepper.
  6. Stir the dressing into the rice.
  7. Then fold the lemon zest, scallion greens, arugula, pistachios, parsley and chives into the rice.

Notes

The rice can be made up to 2 days in advance. Let it cool to room temperature before transferring to an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator. Make the dressing and combine it and the rest of the ingredients with the rice right before serving.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 325
  • Sugar: 4 g
  • Sodium: 898.4 mg
  • Fat: 18 g
  • Carbohydrates: 36.5 g
  • Fiber: 3.6 g
  • Protein: 7.8 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Keywords: wild rice salad, wild rice recipe

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Recipe rating

  1. This is a breeze to make and is delicious! It’s vibrant and zippy while being hearty at the same time. Such a lovely dish to enhance any meal. Thank you.