This salad is simple, delicious, and very filling so I would suggest making it as a main course and not as an accompaniment for days when you want to do a salad detox :-). This is the first time I used wild rice as the salad grain. I found wild rice “meatier” than regular rice, making it perfect for salads. Also, the salad has no oil at all! Just lemon juice, with a little salt & pepper, works great as a dressing.
How to cook wild rice in a pot
Wild rice can be cooked the same way as brown rice — wash the rice in multiple changes of water, soak for 30 mins and then cook on low with 3 times the water. What I like about the method is that you don’t need to keep checking in between. Once the water is over, you know the rice is cooked.
However, since I wasn’t sure of exactly how much water this variety of rice needs, I cooked the wild rice the way I cook pasta. The first two steps stay the same. Wash and soak. Then boil about 6 times water, drain the rice, and add to boiling water. Cook until done and then drain.
Both the methods will work well.
Along with arugula, add your own choice of salad vegetables. I would suggest a mix of soft and crunchy vegetables. You can also sprinkle some fresh pomegranate kernels on the salad, like in the simple arugula parmesan salad. I have used zucchini and tomato with arugula leaves. Zucchini is my newest favorite salad vegetable. Have you tried it raw?
Zucchini or Cucumber?
Both cucumbers and zucchini are nearly 95% water, making them great summer vegetables (or fruits?) and also good for salads.
When it comes to eating raw, one would mostly choose cucumbers over zucchini. With its cool, crunchy taste; cucumber is one of the most common salad vegetables. But only recently I have started using zucchini in salads and I love it.
Personally, I like its denser flesh. But nutritionally too, zucchini has a higher concentration of proteins, fiber, fat, and more essential minerals than a cucumber. They have nearly the same calorie content. 100g of zucchini has 17 calories and 100g of cucumber has 16.
Conclusion? I would suggest using a mix of both cucumbers and zucchini in your salads but if you have to choose one, choose zucchini.
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- ½ cup wild rice
- 2 cups arugula salad leaves
- 1 cup zucchini , chopped
- 1 cup tomatoes , seeds removed & chopped
- 1 lemon , juice & zest
- Salt , to taste
- Freshly ground pepper , to taste
Wash the rice in 3-4 changes of water and soak for 30 mins.
In a deep pot, boil 4 cups water. Drain the soaked rice and add to boiling water along with some salt. Let it cook on medium heat till the rice is soft. Some of the rice will start to split open. Takes about 30 minutes.
Drain the rice and wash under cold water.*
In a big mixing bowl, gently toss the rice with arugula, all the chopped vegetables, lemon zest, juice, salt, and pepper.
Serve immediately or keep in the fridge for a couple of hours before serving.
*The salad tastes best when cold which is the main reason why I wash the cooked rice under cold running water.
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