After several weeks of plying you (and myself) with holiday treats, I figured we could all use some extra greens. I know, I know…most people don’t want to hear about salads until January, when the cold reality of New Year’s resolutions sinks in, but hear me out, because this wild rice and sweet potato salad is about as cheerful and celebratory as they come!
Pops of color from sweet potatoes and dried cranberries make this salad merry and bright, while crunchy spiced nuts and smooth goat cheese add a hint of indulgence. The lentils and wild rice also give it staying power, so you’ll be full for hours afterward. And to top things off, a tangy champagne vinaigrette—after all, New Year’s Eve is just around the corner, and what is New Year’s without a little champagne?!
I’m keeping things short today because time during the holidays is at a premium and I’m sure many of you have a to-do list a mile long. This is my last post in 2015, so I’d like to take the opportunity to say thank you to all of you for being here and reading Put On Your Cake Pants! Have a wonderful (and safe!) New Year’s Eve, and best wishes for the new year!
- 3/4 cup uncooked wild rice
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 6-8 ounces lettuce
- 3/4 cup cooked lentils
- 2-3 ounces goat cheese
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1/3 cup spiced nuts
- 1 tablespoon champagne vinegar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- salt and pepper to taste
- Cook the wild rice according to the directions on the package.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the sweet potato cubes with olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the edges are starting to brown.
- In a large bowl, combine the remaining ingredients for the salad. Note: if you are making the salad in advance, do not add the spiced nuts until the salad is ready to serve. Add the wild rice and sweet potatoes.
- Place all the ingredients for the dressing in a small bowl and whisk until combined. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine. You may not need all of the dressing, so add gradually and taste as you go.
- The amounts listed are approximate, since putting together a salad is more of an eyeballing situation than a precise measuring one. This recipe yields enough for about 3 entrée-sized salads (or 2 if you’re really hungry).
- I use a combination of romaine lettuce and a spring mix, and I buy pre-steamed lentils at Trader Joe’s for convenience. I recommend substituting cannellini beans for lentils if you can’t find pre-steamed lentils.
- While spiced nuts add a nice finishing touch, roasted nuts will also work in a pinch.