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This is the ultimate Wild Rice Salad. It's loaded with slightly peppery arugula and lots of grapes, toasted almonds, goat cheese, and fresh herbs. Then it's tossed in an easy to make tangy lemon poppy seed dressing. Serve it with a side of your favorite protein for an easy weeknight dinner or as part of a big weekend feast. Either way, you will LOVE it!
Wild rice salad comin' atcha!
I'm just going to tell you straight up today: That Salad Is Uuuuumazing. Like spicy arugula, sweet grapes, nutty wild rice, and all the lemony dressing kind of amazing.
You will love this because:
- You know good food when you see it. ? I know that's true!
- We're kind of the same, you and I. We both love healthy food AND we expect it to be crave-worthy delish.
- All the flavors get tossed around together so each bite is a little bit of heaven.
- The wild rice and all those flavors mentioned up there PLUS a handful of fresh herbs which brightens up the whole salad and takes it to the next level.
- Goat cheese (or not, if you're not a cheese person) but I'm definitely cheese person and creamy, tangy goat cheese mingling with all the arugula and wild rice is enough to melt hearts.
This is how salad dreams are made.
Wild rice – I kind of forgot how awesomely delicious it is. Also, it's so pretty! I know, I'm talking about a grain and I'm calling it pretty and I sound like a crazy person. But just at those dark, slender needles up there. They really are pretty!
I found a package of wild rice hidden in the very back of my cupboard when I was doing a full panty clean out a few weeks ago.
(Also, is there anything that says I've crossed the line into full-time adulthood like cleaning out my pantry. When did this happen? And can I please just go back to drinking pineapple margaritas and not caring if my pantry is organized?)
But there I was, every grain, oil, vinegar, spice, and about 14 different kinds of sea salt (seriously, WHY do I have so much salt?!) laid out on the kitchen table and this little package of wild rice starts calling my name. I have no idea where it came from, or where the other half of the package went, but I know there's about to be some wild rice recipes in my future. Starting with this wild rice salad.
A salad is only as good as the dressing you put on it. #truth
This beauty of a salad is tossed in that tangy lemon poppy seed dressing you see up there. It is creamy, but 100% dairy-free. Its creaminess happens when the oil emulsifies in the lemon juice. This happens when you slowly add the oil to the salad dressing while whisking the whole time. And by whole time I mean less than a minute. It doesn't take long to make a creamy, oil-based dressing.
The dressing is nice and lemony which works so well with the sweet grapes and spicy arugula. It's really like every flavor in the salad was meant for each other.
I originally made this wild rice salad cause I thought it would be perfect for Easter dinner next week, but I love it so much that I know it will be a year round salad.
Bring on the wild rice!
If you love this Arugula and Wild Rice Salad as much as I do, make sure to give it a 5-star review in the comments below!
Arugula Wild Rice Salad
- 1 cup wild rice
- 5 ounces baby arugula
- 1 cup halved grapes
- ⅓ cup toasted almonds (chopped)
- ¼ cup goat cheese (omit for vegan)
- 2 tablespoons each: mint, dill, and basil
Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing
- Juice of 1 ½ lemons (about ⅓ cup )
- 2 teaspoons each: Dijon mustard and honey (use maple syrup for vegan)
- A good pinch of sea salt
- ½ cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
- Place the wild rice in a medium-sized pot with 3 cups of cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat then reduce the heat to medium. Simmer the rice, covered, for 40-60 minutes. (The cooking time can vary widely.) Check the rice after 40 minutes. It is done when many of the kernels have burst open. Remove the lid and let the water evaporate before removing the rice from the heat and letting it cool.1 cup wild rice
- While the rice is cooking, make the salad dressing. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk the lemon juice, Dijon, honey, and sea salt. Continue to whisk while slowly adding the oil. The dressing will turn creamy. Whisk in the poppy seeds.Juice of 1 ½ lemons, 2 teaspoons each: Dijon mustard and honey, A good pinch of sea salt, ½ cup olive oil, 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
- Add the arugula, grapes, almonds, (if using) the goat cheese, and the herbs to a large salad bowl. Add the cooked and cooled wild rice. Pour about ½ the dressing over the salad and toss.5 ounces baby arugula, 1 cup halved grapes, ⅓ cup toasted almonds, ¼ cup goat cheese, 2 tablespoons each: mint, dill, and basil
- Serve right away.
We have thoroughly tested this recipe for accuracy. However, individual results may vary. See our full recipe disclosure here.
This recipe is part of our Best Spring Side Dishes series.