Sunday, April 02, 2017

Roasted Sweet Potato, Wild Rice, and Arugula Salad

This salad doesn't look like much at first glance, but appearances can be deceiving.  I love everything about this salad: the slightly caramelized sweet potato, chewy and bitter wild rice, tangy and lemony dressing, salty feta, rich and crunchy cashews, and peppery bite from the arugula.  This is one of my favorites, and makes its way into regular rotation at our house for healthy, convenient, grab-n-go lunches.  If you enjoy this salad half as much as I do, you won't be sorry you made it!  Enjoy!

YIELD: 4 quart-sized salads

  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 c freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/3 c extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 tsp olive or canola oil
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 c wild rice, boiled until tender, rinsed, and drained
  • 4 oz feta, crumbled
  • 5-8 oz arugula
  • 1/2 c roughly-chopped cashews

  1. Make the dressing: combine the lemon zest, juice, olive oil, honey, and garlic in a pint-sized mason jar.  Puree and emulsify the dressing using a handheld stick blender.  (Alternately, puree and emulsify the dressing ingredients in a blender or mini food processor.)
  2. Roast the sweet potatoes: preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.  Toss the sweet potatoes with the canola oil and chili powder.  Roast until the potatoes begin to brown around the edges.  Cool.
  3. Pack the salads: combine the dressing, cooked wild rice, and roasted sweet potato and divide evenly among 4 tall quart-sized containers.  Layer the feta and arugula in the jars.  Divide the cashews evenly among 4 2-ounce jars or snack-size zip-top bags for each salad.  Refrigerate until serving.
  4. Enjoy your salad: invert your salad onto a plate or into a bowl.  Top with cashews.
TIME-SAVING TIPS: Use 2 cups pre-cooked wild rice for the boiled wild rice. 

SPECIAL DIET SWAPS: This salad is vegetarian and gluten-free as-is.  For a vegan salad, omit the feta, and substitute agave for the honey in the dressing.  Substitute unsalted sunflower seeds for the cashews to accommodate tree nut allergies.

Food styling, photography, and infographics by Robert Campbell.

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