Apple, Kale and Wild Rice Salad is my most favorite fall creation yet! Full of greens, savory sweet potato, toasted pecans and layered with apple flavors – it’s an irresistible combination!
Wild rice sits patiently in my pantry until fall.
It was a good long wait and it really wanted to come out in style. So I created this super stylish, in-season apple salad featuring freshly picked Cortland apples and my garden kale that I have admittedly ignored almost all summer.
Growing up in the Midwest – Minnesota and Illinois – I ate a lot of wild rice. I find it a bit harder to come by in other parts of the country. There seem to be a lot of rice blends with wild rice, but never just straight up wild rice. When I do find a bag of wild rice, it’s a tiny little sack. So anytime I’m visiting family in the Midwest, I pick up the grande version.
This summer I spent some time in Minnesota for a family reunion. Here’s a snap from the trip – it’s pretty classic Minnesota!
What is wild rice
Did you know wild rice isn’t really rice – it’s a seed!
Yep, it’s a grass seed found in grasses that grow near freshwater sources.
Wild rice is super healthy.
It contains almost twice the protein and fiber as brown rice plus all kinds of other vitamins and minerals – and adds a very unique and nutty flavor.(amazon affiliate links help support OatandSesame at no cost difference for you!)
What’s exciting about this wild rice salad – besides the fact that it might just be my new favorite dish – is that I used my new KitchenAid attachment – the spiralizer. I was anxiously awaiting apple season so I could core and cut perfect apple slices with the flip of a switch! Definitely a good splurge!
How to Make Wild Rice Salad
Step 1: Make the apple cider vinaigrette dressing.
The zingy apple cider vinaigrette is really bright and amps all the flavors in this dish. It’s an easy as add ingredients to a mason jar and shake until blended.
Step 2: Prepare kale.
Trim and chop kale. Massage a little of the apple cider vinaigrette dressing into the kale until it softens.
Step 3: Pan roast sweet potato.
Chunks of sweet potato are pan roasted to perfection. Then tossed with cinnamon, parsley, salt and pepper.
Step 4: Toast pecans.
A quick toast in the oven elevates the pecan flavor.
Step 5: Assemble.
It’s best to slice the apples right before you serve this salad. Cortland apples don’t yellow quickly, so they are a great choice for apple salads.
Happy fall everyone! Enjoy all your apple adventures!!
Sweet potato bites, apples and toasted pecans give each bite of this wild rice salad a taste of fall flavors!
A lovely fall combination of apple, kale, sweet potatoes and pecans. Drizzled with apple cider vinaigrette. Nothing says fall like an apple salad.
- 1 cup wild rice
- 3 cup chopped kale
- 1 large sweet potato chopped
- potato seasonings: dried parsley cinnamon, salt and pepper (a few dashes of each)
- 2 Cortland apples cored and thinly sliced
- 1.5 cups pecans toasted
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- ¼ cup raw apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon raw honey
- ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
Start by cooking the wild rice. Bring 1 cup dry rice to a boil with 3 cups water and 1/2 tsp salt. Cover and simmer 45 minutes until tender. Drain and set aside.
While the rice is cooking prepare the rest of the ingredients and the dressing.
Combine all ingredients in a mason jar, shake until incorporated, set aside.
Trim and chop the kale. Place in a bowl and toss with a couple tsp of the dressing. Massage it into the kale. Set aside.
Heat a large skillet over medium high with 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add chopped sweet potato toss to coat with olive oil. Season with parsley, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Sauté 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
On a rimmed baking sheet, toast pecans at 350F for 5 minutes until starting to smell toasty.
To assemble the salad, mix everything in a large bowl. Topping with pecans and saving a few apple slices to garnish the top.
*If not serving right away, wait to add the dressing to the remainder of the salad. I like to add the dressing to each individual serving.
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