My kitchen cabinets are filled to the brim with rice, dried beans, wheatberries, and bulgur. The truth is that I don’t use these ingredients very often. For one thing, they’re not quick to prepare. The rice takes 45 minutes and all of the others need to soak, which can take anywhere from 10 minutes to overnight. I’ve gotten it into my head that I don’t have the time for these items. Which is not true at all. I do have the time. I just get lazy.
Last week, I decided to take the plunge and whip out one of those bags of wild rice that had been hiding in the dark corner of our pantry shelf for close to three years. I’d been craving a hearty salad for lunch, which is something that happens often in the summer. I could eat big bowls of chopped salad every day, but when it’s warm out, I can’t get enough.
This wasn’t a complicated dish to prepare. I included some veggies for additional texture (and because, you know, they’re healthy) and then loaded it up with blue cheese (because if I’m going to have salad for lunch, there better be dairy in it). And lots of fresh herbs, of course.
When it was finished, I carried the bowl and a big glass of sauvignon blanc to the table on our deck behind the apartment. The gentle breeze, the food, a book in my hand. I instantly got swept up in the moment. By the time I looked back down at the bowl, just a few grains remained.
There are still countless bags of rice and legumes that linger in those cabinets. It’s just taken this one dish to convert me. I’m ready to dig into the rest.
Wild Rice Salad with Blue Cheese
1 cup cooked wild rice
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 tomato, chopped
1 shallot, peeled and sliced thinly
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
3 tablespoons parsley, roughly chopped
Salt and black pepper
1. In a bowl, mix together the wild rice, carrots and tomato.
2. In a separate bowl, add the lemon juice, blue cheese, parsley and shallot. Gently whisk, making sure to leave some chunks of blue cheese.
3. Pour dressing over wild rice mixture and stir to combine.
4. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
5. Let chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
6. Take the bowl out, let it come to room temperature, and serve.