Kale and Wild Rice Salad (gluten-free)

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It’s only the end of January, but I am antsy for spring. South-central Idaho is in the midst of an extreme drought, which means we’re having an incredibly mild winter — the hillsides are bare, the skies are blue and the temperatures are reaching the mid-forties. It’s going to make for a hell of a wildfire season, but for now, it just makes me want to go hiking. Or take a beer and a book out on the porch and work on my tan.

Of course, I can’t do any of those things, because it’s still only 45 degrees out. Warm, but hardly tanning weather. So to assuage my ache for everything happy and spring-y, I’m turning to my kitchen and trying to cook things that at least taste like spring.

This salad fits the bill. It combines hearty, winter-friendly ingredients such as kale, wild rice and walnuts with lighter, happier flavors such as raspberries and salty, creamy feta. This is a solid salad for sure, one I’d be tempted to serve as an entree.

The dressing, though, is what makes this dish sing. Made with green onions, it basically punches you in the mouth with fresh, bright flavor, shouting “IT’S SPRINGTIME, DAMNIT.”

Okay. It doesn’t do that. But it does have a strong bite and a good amount of acid that brightens the heavy flavors and lifts your spirits, making you feel like spring can’t be too far away.

This was originally posted by Pinch Of Yum, and the original recipe called for pomegranate seeds (not raspberries) and minced shallot, not green onions. I could not find a single pomegranate in my grocery store this weekend, and I took a chance on replacing the shallot with green onion. I’m thrilled that I did.

Kale and Wild Rice Salad
For the salad
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 2 cups lacinato kale, chiffonaded
  • 2 cups cooked wild rice
  • 1/2 cup toasted walnuts
  • 4 ounces feta cheese crumbles
For the dressing
  • 1/2 cup minced green onions
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 1/2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
Instructions
  1. You can, if you like, mince the onions and saute them until soft and fragrant. I did not, but that would help take the edge off of this dressing. Anyway, if you want to do that, do that. And then add green onions to the bowl of a small chopper/food processor with olive oil, water, honey, vinegar, salt, and lemon juice until smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust.
  2. Toss salad ingredients together with the dressing in a large bowl just before serving. Enjoy!
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