This ‘grain’ salad is great as a meatless summer lunch or dinner. You could also serve it as a starter or side for a more elaborate dining experience. The sweetness of cranberries and the tanginess of goat cheese build on a starchy base of wild rice and quinoa, with the bonus texture and pepperiness of arugula. It has a good blend of oils from the walnuts and olive oil to give you nice hair and skin. It’s packed with protein without being too hot and heavy, which hopefully will not worsen your current stick-to-your-seat and leave-a-sweaty-bum-print situation brought upon by the summer weather.
Quinoa and Wild Rice Salad with Goat Cheese, Arugula, Walnuts, and Cranberries
Time: 1 hour (wild rice takes a while to cook)
- 1/4 cup good olive oil
- a few drops of white truffle oil (optional)
- 2-3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 clove garlic, smashed
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
- 3/4 cup uncooked wild rice
- 3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
- 75 g baby arugula leaves
- 75 g soft goat cheese, in small pieces
(I used a log coated in herbs.)
- 100 g shelled walnuts, in halves or small pieces
- 100 g dried cranberries
- fresh chives, finely chopped, for garnish
- Cook the wild rice in one pot. The package mine came in said to bring the wild rice to a boil in 1 1/2 cups water, keep boiling on low for 25-30 minutes, then let stand with the heat turned off for another 25-30 minutes. Then drain the wild rice when it is tender, as there will be liquid left over.
- Wash the quinoa, then cook it in another pot. Do so by bringing it to a boil in 2 cups of water then keeping it at a gentle bubble for 15-20 minutes. Fluff with a fork at the end when tender, to loosen the quinoa.
- Prepare the dressing while the ‘grains’ cook so it has some time to let the flavours come together. Mix the olive oil, truffle oil (optional but recommended), red wine vinegar, garlic clove, salt, and black pepper together in a bowl or jar. Then set the dressing aside.
- When both the wild rice and quinoa are cooked, place them both into a large bowl (or one of the original pots, if large enough). Fold some of the dressing (up to half of it) into the ‘grains’ to coat them as well as to mix them.
- I prefer for the ingredients to be assembled into individual plates before serving. Start by spooning a base of wild rice + quinoa onto a plate. Then add a handful of arugula leaves. Dole out some pieces of cheese, walnuts and cranberries. Finish it off with a sprinkling of chives and a bit more of the dressing to your taste.