The rain in Portland has (mostly) stopped and temperatures are on the rise. We have no less than three perfect months ahead of us, not quite summer, but we’ve definitely tipped firmly into salad season. At long last.
This Lentil and Wild Rice Salad with Summer Vegetables will be your official salad of summer. It’s absolutely perfect for lunch or a light dinner in the summer.
Bonus points, it keeps really well thanks to the hearty kale, lentils and wild rice. Ideal for making ahead of time to avoid cooking when the evenings are so nice and warm.
This salad adapts easily to whatever vegetables you might have around or growing in your garden. The yellow squash can easily be swapped for zucchini or any of the summer squashes.
Fun fact: wild rice isn’t even rice. It’s actually a seed cultivated in Minnesota and parts of California. I’m partial to that nutty flavor and love that it’s gluten-free, but if wild rice isn’t your thing, try swapping it for:
• brown rice
Rice cooking time aside, this salad comes together quickly with minimal cleanup. I like to buy the steamed (precooked) lentils from Trader Joe’s to save some time and have one less pot to wash.
This recipe is great slightly warm or cold. Perfect for lunches or taking to a party. After it rests in the refrigerator for a while, you may notice it’s soaked up all of the dressing and needs a little refresh.
2 cups cooked lentils or ¾ cup dried lentils
½ cup wild rice
1 yellow squash, diced large
½ bunch asparagus, cut in 1 inch pieces
½ bunch kale, stemmed and cut in bite-sized pieces
1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
¼ cup slivered almonds
Thyme Balsamic Dressing
2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
¼ cup olive oil
½ tsp. dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
½ tsp. maple syrup
1 tsp. fresh thyme
salt and pepper
Keywords: summer salad