Serendipitous. The idea wandered into my brain when I wasn’t even thinking about food.
In short order this warm salad of wild rice, pea shoots and jicama practically jumped under my knives, then into my mouth. It’s the second piece of good luck that’s happened to me this week. Scroll to the bottom for the bigger lucky story.
Good fortune is this salad’s birthright. It’s got awesome ingredients. Bright jade pea shoots are the first inspiration, the green that got me on a roll to success.
A jar of wild rice has been hanging in the cupboard for about a month–wild rice, brown-black and nutty. Mixed into fresh and green–just the trick. I cooked the rice in the pressure cooker for 25 minutes while I prepped everything else.
We always keep jicama around for the crisp sweetness it adds to salads, like this one. The little white cubes of crunchy jicama easily balanced their way in.
This salad was meant to be. How timely, the sweet and sour dressing was already made.
Pea shoots are the leafy tips and curly tendrils that twine and climb and grow our peas. Consider them greens, like chard, but with distinctive pea flavor. Pea shoots are one of those CSA/Farmer’s Market bonus crop–as scapes precede garlic, pea shoots precede peas. Chopped broccoli is a fine substitute.
Wild rice is not a grain–it’s a seed, from a marsh grass native to North America. It grows and is harvested near the Great Lakes in Canada and the northern US. Nutritionally, wild rice is a powerhouse, a seed with extra protein, vitamins and minerals.
Shirley had left us with salad dressing left from a salad she brought to dinner last week, so this sweet and sour dressing was already made. We both credit June 2014 Bon Appétit magazine for the scrumptious blend of dates and lime juice in salad dressing. Recipe here, on Epicurious.
Put it all together and what have you got? Jackpot! A warm filling salad of wild rice, pea shoots and jicama. I was so excited I shot these photos in fading evening light, without a tripod, in a hungry hurry. Fortunately for this blog post, a few of those the photos came out okay.
The best good luck story of the week has nothing to do with food. Pinch-hitting at Deer Valley Bakery, I’d taken my heirloom wedding band and two bracelets off to work on a wedding cake. They were wrapped in plastic and I set them on the counter on the way into the house after work. Someone in this house put them in the trash thinking the wad of plastic was leftover from a sandwich or something. I found the jewels, in their wrap, on the inside rim of the trash can–the one that had already gone to the street for garbage pickup! Whew! Yippee-lucky me!
More salads with pea shoots:
Whole Wheat Couscous with Pea Shoots, Sesame and Lemon
Pea Shoot and Black Rice Salad
I love making hearty healthy salads for potluck parties. Do you have a potluck favorite salad you make—what is it?
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This salad keeps very well and can be made the day before. You can serve it warm or cold, but do assemble when the rice is freshly cooked and warm. Warm rice is key. The heat of the rice barely cooks the pea shoots and they keep their texture.
- 1 cup wild rice, rinsed
- 3 cups water
- ¼ teaspoon Real Salt
- 2 cups pea shoots
- ½ medium-size jicama
- 3 pitted dates
- ½ cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- ¼ teaspoon Real Salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Bring 3 cups of water to a boil. Add the salt and wild rice, cover, and reduce the heat to low. Cook until the rice is tender and the kernels split open, 60 to 70 minutes.
- Alternatively, cook in pressure cooker 25 minutes, immediately release the pressure.
- While the rice cooks, chop the pea shoots, including tender stems and the occasional blossom. Peel the jicama and cut it into ½-inch cubes.
- Make the dressing:
- Put the dates, olive oil, lime zest and juice and salt in a blender. Blend until smooth.
- Season to taste with more salt, if needed, and freshly ground pepper.
- The 70 minutes it takes to cook the rice can be shortened to 25 minutes with a pressure cooker.
- If your dates are a bit dry or firm, soak them in water about 30 minutes before making the dressing.
- You may not need all of the dressing. Mix in about half of the dressing; add more if you think the salad needs it.