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Emerald City Salad

Recipe reprinted with permission from Feeding the Whole Family (third edition) by Cynthia Lair (Sasquatch Books, 2008)

This colorful salad is inspired by the beautiful deli salad at Puget Consumer's Co-op, Seattle's beloved chain of natural foods grocery stores. It is so popular that I have filled many classes with the mere mention that I would be demonstrating how to make this salad.

2 cups water or stock
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup wild rice (black; long)

cup lemon juice
cup olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
cup chopped fennel bulb
, core removed
of a red or yellow pepper, diced
cup chopped red cabbage
cup chopped Italian parsley
2 cups very finely chopped dark leafy greens (6-7 leaves of chard
, kale, or collards)
Salt and pepper to taste
Pecorino or gorgonzola cheese (optional)

Bring water or stock to a boil.  Add butter, teaspoon of the salt and rice.  Bring to boil again, cover, lower heat and simmer 60-65 minutes.  Check to see that until all water is absorbed by tipping the pan to one side.  How to cook wild rice is described in a separate video.

Combine lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and remaining teaspoon of salt in a large serving bowl.  Add fennel, red pepper, cabbage, parsley and then the greens .

Once rice is fully cooked, cool until it quits steaming but is still warm, and then spread like a banket on top of the greens.  When the rice cools to room temperature, toss rice, vegetables and dressing together. Taste the salad and adjust seasonings, some extra salt and/or lemon may be required.  Garnish with cheese if desired.

Preparation time: 1 hour for wild rice, 20 minutes for salad
Serves 6-8



Si S
This looks delicious. I can't wait to try it! I think I am going to add some garbanzo beans for a little protein. Yummy! Thank You, Si :)
December 8, 2008, 6:12 pm

Martha Cagley
Looks great! I will try it right now. I love the video, too.
December 20, 2008, 1:23 pm

Marianne Matsumoto
Very cute video and nice singing! I will try this once our weather is back to ordinary rain and we can be out and about again!
December 23, 2008, 11:43 am

Liz Ellis
I must give 2 thumbs up (more, if I had more thumbs) to the dressing for this salad. I have found it to be one of the simplest, tastiest and most versatile dressings - great with a simple spinach and roma tomato salad.
January 26, 2009, 4:32 pm

Rebecca Pouliot
Cynthia - I love this salad and often make it for potlucks, where there is always at least one person who asks for the recipe. I am perplexed about something however. Every wild rice recipe I have seen says to cook it for 60-65 minutes, but I have never had it get done (absorb all the water) in less than 90, and often more than that. Any thoughts?
March 22, 2009, 4:31 pm

Amanda B
I had a question about cooking the wild rice too - when I cooked it, it never got tender - it was still very tough even after the water was cooked out (after about 75 minutes). The flavors of the salad are great, but it's filled with chewy sticks. =)
May 14, 2009, 12:44 pm

Cynthia Lair
If your rice is not getting cooked in 60 minutes try these tips. Make sure the water and stock are at a full boil before adding the rice. Cover and lower the heat. After 55 minutes if there is still liquid in the pan, take the lid off, keep the heat on low and let it dissipate on its own for about 5-10 minutes. If you are using the right amount of liquid to rice, it should not come out tough unless the heat was too high. 99% of grain cooking problems are heat management issues.
May 14, 2009, 4:02 pm

I made this last night and it is fabulous. It kind of reminds me of a heartier version of tabbouleh. And I'm a huge tabbouleh fan. I didn't have time to do wild rice and so I did Trader Joe's Brown Rice Medley , which cut off about 20 minutes. It's a winner all they way. Thanks for the good recipes, ideas and laughs!
May 19, 2009, 1:12 pm

Jeffrey Freed
Love your book! Especially the food pyramid. I never thought about sea vegetables, but it makes sense.
June 6, 2009, 12:02 pm

Eileen Seeley
I'd like to suggest an method of cooking wild rice which I find easier and more successful...Put a cup of dry rice in a 2 qt. ceramic bowl. Fill with boiling water, cover, and let stand until it cools to room temperature. Drain water from rice and fill bowl again with boiling water and cool. Repeat this 1 or 2 more times until the rice butterflys completely. Then drain thoroughly in a colander. This method takes a bit of planning ahead, but I never have a problem with sticks in my rice.
November 29, 2009, 5:04 pm

Robyn Haaf
This is one of my favorite salads from PCC although when I make it at home, I cut back on the amount of oil. It has loads of flavor and the colors are a feast for my eyes!
June 9, 2011, 1:09 pm

Kimberly J
Made this last night and it was delish. I didn't have the wild rice so I subbed black 'forbidden' rice. I doubt it changed the flavor too much, but probably made for a chewier texture.
August 31, 2011, 6:32 am

Nadine N
Just found your site & I'm hooked! I'm on day 47 of a 60-day juice program (I don't like to call it a fast - 'cause I'm not at all deprived, depraved, maybe, but let's not go there...) When I complete this program, I'm sticking to a whole foods, plant based lifestyle and cannot wait to try some of your recipes! Here's my blog if you'd care to link to it as I'd like to link to your site if I may -
September 5, 2011, 11:26 am

Bobbi Lum
My daughter in law suggested this site for the recipe of the delicious salad I tried at PCC during our visit earlier this month. Unless I am mistaken, this might become a very popular dish with my friends and guests here in Florida!
November 28, 2011, 4:43 pm

Jon S
This is one of the most delicious foods of any category I've tasted - and it's healthy to boot! I always make plenty because we never get tired of it. I've also found the rice takes longer that 60 minutes to cook, but who cares!
December 30, 2012, 1:44 pm

Cynthia Lair
Jon, yes this recipe is also one of my favs. And indeed - wild rice can be stubborn. Cooking it in an enameled cast iron pot can help with the time.
December 30, 2012, 6:16 pm

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