Wild Rice Salad With Roasted Beets, Cucumbers, And Dill

I love the flavor profile of this dish, with wild rice providing a robust platform for earthy roasted beets and the husky flavor of walnuts. You could swap chunks of roasted carrot for the beets or use a combination of the two. Cucumber and feta are bright accents along with garlicky-herby Yogo Ranch Dressing. If you don’t have time to make that dressing, you can substitute your favorite store-bought ranch or season some plain yogurt with lemon juice, salt, and pepper to taste.
Serves
4
Total Time
1 Hour
Ingredients
1 cup (175 g) uncooked wild rice
Kosher salt
1 1⁄2 pounds (675 g) beets, trimmed, peeled, cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) chunks
Extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 pound (450 g) cucumbers, preferably small Persian (mini) ones, peeled, seeded, cut into 1⁄2-inch (1.25 cm) slices
1 bunch scallions, trimmed (including 1⁄2 inch/1.5 cm off the green tops), sliced on a sharp angle, soaked in ice water for 20 minutes, and drained well
1⁄2 cup (120 ml) Yogo Ranch Dressing (recipe below)
1⁄4 cup (7 g) lightly packed roughly chopped fresh dill
1⁄2 cup (60 g) walnuts, lightly toasted and roughly chopped
4 ounces (115 g) feta cheese, broken into small chunks (Valbreso is a great brand)
Yogo Ranch Dressing
Makes a scant 2 cups (450 ml)
11⁄2 cups (335 g) plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
2 garlic cloves, finely grated or minced
2 teaspoons honey
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1⁄2 teaspoon mustard powder
2 teaspoons kosher salt
Method
Step 1
Place the wild rice in a medium saucepan with 1 teaspoon kosher salt and water to cover by about 3 inches (7.5 cm).
Step 2
Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a lively simmer, cover, and cook until the wild rice is fully tender and most of the grains have opened up, about 45 minutes.
Step 3
Check on occasion to make sure the water hasn’t cooked off. All the water may not be absorbed, so drain thoroughly. Set aside.
Step 4
Meanwhile, heat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
Step 5
Toss the beets with 2 tablespoons olive oil, season generously with salt and pepper, and spread in an even single layer on a sheet pan (use two pans if necessary to avoid overcrowding the beets).
Step 6
Roast until the beets are tender and getting browned and slightly shriveled, 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the density of your beets. Transfer to a bowl, sprinkle with the vinegar, toss, and let cool.
Step 7
Assemble the salad in a large, wide serving bowl: Spread the wild rice on the bottom of the bowl.
Step 8
Distribute the cucumbers and scallions over the rice, then drizzle about one-third of the ranch dressing over all.
Step 9
Arrange the beets in a layer on the cucumbers, distribute the dill and half the walnuts on the beets, then drizzle with another one- third of the dressing. Finish with the feta, the remaining walnuts, and the rest of the dressing.
Step 10
Toss right before serving, making sure everyone gets bites of everything in their portion.
Step 11
Stir all the ingredients for the Yogo Ranch dressing together , making sure the honey gets dissolved. Taste and adjust with more of any of the seasonings.
Step 12
For the best flavour, let the dressing sit for at least 30 minutes, so the ingredients can share their flavours with one another. Store in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Extracted from GRAINS FOR EVERY SEASON by Joshua McFadden with Martha Holmberg available here
Photography by AJ Meeker

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