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For No Eyes Only: Wild Rice Salad

By November 1, 2011February 14th, 2021Cuisine

My friend Dee Dee is test-driving Veganism with impressive results. 


She feels better: she claims she has more energy and is sleeping better.  Her matchless complexion glows even more, her eyes sparkle, and she seems to be very fit.  So, in an effort to support her, and maybe go so far as to emulate her a bit, here is a Vegan-friendly rice dish that is easy to make, delicious to eat, and very handy for things like brown bagging it to work as well as entertaining since it can be made well ahead of time and assembled quickly.  The nutty flavor of the wild rice makes a nice contrast to the lemon and garlic vinaigrette, accented by the crunchy vegetables.  Toasted pine nuts complete the dish with their own musky flavor.

Dee Dee reminded me that vegans, “don’t eat anything with eyes,” which is an excellent way to remember the dos and don’ts of that lifestyle.  Grains, therefore, play a big part in their diet, particularly those grains high in protein such as quinoa.  Feel free to adapt this recipe to the grain of your choice.  If you are into eating things with eyes, this dish is a marvelous accompaniment to poultry, meat, fish, or just on its own with a little feta cheese cut up in it.

Wild rice is easy to find in Moscow: it is available at most supermarkets, at the markets, and at the wonderful Indian Spice shops.  Store it in a vacuum-sealed container after you open the packet.

Wild rice cooks longer than shorter-grained rice and requires more water. The yield is high:  one cup of dried wild rice produces between 3 and 4 cups of cooked rice.  Use a ratio of 1:5 rice and water, and allow for at least 45 minutes to simmer.  Rice is done when the kernels have “popped” open, revealing their white insides.  Wild rice is chewier than short grain white rice.



Wild Rice Salad


  • 700 ml (3 cups) cooked wild rice (yield: 1 cup of dry rice will produce 3-4 cups of cooked rice)
  • 250 ml (1 cup) olive oil
  • 15 ml (1 Tbl) lemon zest
  • 125 ml (1/2-cup) fresh lemon juice
  • 45 ml (3 Tbl) red wine vinegar
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed and chopped with salt
  • 15 ml (1 Tbl) coarse sea salt
  • 3 peppers (red, yellow or orange), cored and diced
  • 125 ml (1/2-cup) toasted pine nuts
  • 1 bunch fresh dill
  • 1 bunch Flat parsley, coarsely chopped
  • 1 bunch scallions, sliced thinly


  1. Cook the rice: combine 5 cups/1.25 liters of salted water and 1 cup/125 ml of dry wild rice. Simmer for 45 minutes until the rice kernels “pop” and you see their white insides.
  2. While the rice is cooking, combine the olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic and sea salt in a lidded jar. Shake vigorously to combine.
  3. Drain the rice and return to the pot. Pour the dressing over the rice and toss to coat the rice. Cover and allow the rice to absorb the dressing. Feel free to make more if you feel the rice is dry. Cool to room temperature.
  4. Toast the pine nuts over moderate heat in a skillet until just brown. Add to the rice. Add peppers, scallions, dill and parsley. Toss to combine. Serve at room temperature.

Serve, and enjoy!


Have you tried a “no eyes” diet?  What were your impressions?


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