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Summer-in-a-bowl Wild Rice Salad with Creamy Basil Vinaigrette

Satisfying wild rice salad packed with the best of summer produce. This salad is full of flavor and texture from the rice, toasted almonds, sweet corn, and crisp vegetables, and everything comes together with a creamy garlic basil vinaigrette.
Course Salad
Cuisine gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian
Keyword summer wild rice salad
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Total Yield 4 servings
Calories Per Serving 451 kcal
Author Yup, it's Vegan

Ingredients

For the creamy basil vinaigrette (makes extra):

  • 1.5 oz fresh basil (42g) stems removed
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup raw cashews (soaked overnight in tap water if not using a high-speed blender)
  • 6 tablespoons plain, unsweetened nondairy milk (1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons)
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar (plus more to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon prepared mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the wild rice:

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 white or yellow onion finely chopped
  • 1 cup uncooked wild rice
  • 3 cups water

For the wild rice salad:

  • 8 oz . (227g) cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • kernels from one ear of corn (roast the corn first if preferred, otherwise it's used in the salad raw)
  • 1 bell pepper diced
  • 1 fresh peach or 1 large nectarine diced
  • 1/4 head of purple cabbage finely-chopped
  • 1/4 cup slivered toasted almonds
  • 8 oz. smoked tofu, drained (optional) (227 g.)
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce (optional)
  • 1/2 recipe creamy basil vinaigrette (recipe above)
  • cooked wild rice (recipe above)

Instructions

For the creamy basil vinaigrette:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender or a powerful food processor until very smooth. If not using a high-speed blender, it may take a few minutes of blending, while stopping to scrape down the sides as needed, for the cashews to get smooth. If necessary, you can add more nondairy milk to help blend.
  2. Add plenty of salt and pepper, plus more vinegar if desired, to taste. Store leftover dressing in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to a week.

For the wild rice:

  1. Warm the olive oil in the bottom of a saucepan. Add the garlic and onion along with a sprinkle of salt, and stir. Cook for about 3 minutes, or until onion and garlic are softened.
  2. Add the wild rice to the pan and stir. Cook for 60 seconds, until the wild rice is fragrant. Add the water and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover the pan and cook for about 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the wild rice is fluffy and tender.
  3. Drain any excess water from the rice, if present.

For the wild rice salad:

  1. If using the smoked tofu, cut it into small cubes, and toss them together with the soy sauce in a bowl. Let them sit for 5 minutes to absorb the soy sauce.
  2. In a mixing bowl, fold together the wild rice, prepped fruits and vegetables, and toasted almonds. Fold in the tofu if using. Drizzle with the basil vinaigrette and stir to combine.
  3. This salad is best served while still slightly warm, or completely cold - the middle ground isn't as tasty. Leftovers keep well for up to a week in the refrigerator.

Recipe Notes

OIL-FREE: Omit the oil in the dressing and increase the cashews by 2 tablespoons. If you don't have a high-speed blender, you may need additional nondairy milk for blending. Saute the onion and garlic for the wild rice in a splash of water or vegetable broth before continuing with the recipe as written.

TO MAKE WITHOUT A BLENDER: Chop the basil very finely with a sharp knife, or pound it in a mortar and pestle. Mince the garlic instead of simply chopping it. Omit the raw cashews, adding another 2 tablespoons of olive oil (2 tablespoons of raw cashew butter or almond butter may also work well). Reduce the nondairy milk by half. Adjust seasoning as needed.

NUTRITION: Nutrition facts include optional tofu, optional soy sauce, and 1/2 of the vinaigrette recipe.

Nutrition Facts
Summer-in-a-bowl Wild Rice Salad with Creamy Basil Vinaigrette
Amount Per Serving (1 fourth recipe)
Calories 451 Calories from Fat 144
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 16g 25%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 6g
Sodium 408mg 17%
Potassium 618mg 18%
Total Carbohydrates 59g 20%
Dietary Fiber 8g 32%
Sugars 13g
Protein 22g 44%
Vitamin A 47%
Vitamin C 107%
Calcium 25%
Iron 23%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.