Roasted Sweet Potato, Wild Rice, and Arugula Salad

Roasted Sweet Potato, Wild Rice, and Arugula Salad: served with a simple lemon and olive oil dressing. I licked the plate clean. 300 calories. | pinchofyum.com

Favorite salad.

I say that all the time, and in theory it’s a total oxymoron, but lately salads are my favorite way to get all the food I want to eat (flavor, texture, color, nutrition, give me everything) all on one plate. I know, I’m a food hog, and salads are my vice.

Part of the appeal of salads is my love affair with dressings. Simple, homemade dressings that have lots of flavor. For example, garlic, olive oil, lemon. As pictured above. But more on that in two seconds.

Roasted Sweet Potato, Wild Rice, and Arugula Salad: served with a simple lemon and olive oil dressing. I licked the plate clean. 300 calories. | pinchofyum.com

Let’s reflect on wild rice. Being a born and raised Minnesota girl, I feel this deep pride for that dark, nutty, chewy northern wild rice that can take on any shape and form and be universally delicious. I’ll be the first to admit – chicken wild rice soup has been posted at least 82 times on this here blog (but can it ever be overdone? I mean, really?) and I think way back when the blog started I would do “experimental” things like wild rice flatbread, which I will not link and don’t search it because I cannot confidently vouch for the quality of that recipe. I do remember loving it, but the recipe? I don’t know. I was just a blog baby. Have compassion.

But then things started to get interesting in the wild rice department. I started to branch out and use wild rice in salads. Okay, one, in particular. And so many of us loved it so much together, which sent me to the moon and back and landed me back at my dining room table with yet another wild rice and other yummy stuff salad in front of my face. Because when something works, don’t reinvent the wheel.

Just reinvent it a little bit and add roasted sweet potatoes.

Roasted Sweet Potato, Wild Rice, and Arugula Salad: served with a simple lemon and olive oil dressing. I licked the plate clean. 300 calories. | pinchofyum.com

Today we celebrate the wonderfulness that is wild rice in a salad with fresh, sweet, earthy ingredients. And a lemon dressing that is 200% plate-lickable.

Roasted Sweet Potato, Wild Rice, and Arugula Salad: served with a simple lemon and olive oil dressing. I licked the plate clean. 300 calories. | pinchofyum.com

On a really happy note, Bjork and I are headed to Arizona in a few weeks. No, DAYS. I just realized that as I was typing. Holy wild rice, time has been so sneaky lately.

We are going to visit my sunny grandparents in sunny Arizona and it’s going to be a sunny good time. See the theme there? Other than eating my grandma’s cooking and sitting on the porch with my grandparents smelling the lemon trees in the backyard, I have a singular goal during this trip: to come back very bronzed-up and saturated with Vitamin D. Yes, I really am that deep of a person. I call it: girl on a mission.

In my defense, 50 days of below zero weather? YAH.

Roasted Sweet Potato, Wild Rice, and Arugula Salad: served with a simple lemon and olive oil dressing. I licked the plate clean. 300 calories. | pinchofyum.com

In all seriousness, I’m trying to be less of a person who sees salads as a pre-pool, pre-swimsuit, pre-post-winter-eating-vacation requirement and more of a person who loves salads because they’re healthy, whole, and make you beautifully naturally glowy and all that. But the true me is probably a little bit of both, so safe to say this is going to be salad week at our house.

aaand to that I say — JACKPOT!

Anyone else traveling somewhere warm? And will you be able to fit both Bjork and me in your suitecase, or just me? Lemme know.

Roasted Sweet Potato, Wild Rice, and Arugula Salad: served with a simple lemon and olive oil dressing. I licked the plate clean. 300 calories. | pinchofyum.com

5.0 from 13 reviews
Roasted Sweet Potato, Wild Rice, and Arugula Salad
Author: 
Serves: 4-6
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups cooked wild rice (about ½ cup raw)
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced (about 3-4 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 cups arugula
  • ½ cup cashew pieces
For the dressing
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 2 lemons - more to taste)
  • zest of the lemons
  • ⅓ cup good quality olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons agave nectar
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
Instructions
  1. Cook the wild rice according to package directions. Meanwhile, make the dressing by pureeing all the dressing ingredients in a food processor. When the rice is done, toss it with a little bit of the dressing and refrigerate. Let it rest for a little while so it takes on the flavors of the dressing (I let it chill completely, but you wouldn't have to do that).
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the sweet potato pieces directly on a baking sheet. Drizzle with the oil and sprinkle with the chili powder, salt, and pepper. Stir directly on the pan to get everything mixed. Roast for 20-25 minutes, stirring every so often to keep from burning. When the sweet potatoes are golden brown on the outside, remove from the oven and set aside.
  3. Toss the arugula, wild rice, sweet potatoes, cashews, and the remaining dressing together. Serve warm or cold. YUM.
Notes
Nutrition is for 6 servings. This salad is a little higher in calories and good fat (thank you, olive oil and cashews) but if you wanted to lighten it you could definitely cut some of the oil, the cashews, or add more arugula to bulk it up. You could also add more lemon juice to your dressing to make it go a little father while still keeping it light.

Nutrition Sweet Potato Salad

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Comments

  1. 1. I live in Sunny Florida…and have a spare room…so me thinks that I can fit both of you ;)
    2. I love salads always. Even when it’s not prepping for beach season.
    3. I just started getting into wild rice and it’s SO GOOD.
    4. Roasted sweet potatoes are my life.
    5. You just threw all my favs in one salad. I love you.
    Life complete.
    Pinned

  2. And it’s another lovely salad bowl from you! I love the use of cooked grains and root veggies in salads – such a nice bridge between winter and summer…if only the winter coat-to-swimsuit transition were so smooth! ;)

  3. I love the beautiful colors in this salad! I can just imagine the texture! Lovely post

    Greetings from South Africa!
    xxx

  4. as always, gorgeous recipe AND images! Pinned

  5. Sweet potato on a salad? I won’t have to think twice about that! Or the the fact that I’ll want a second serving. :)

  6. This salad looks great! I love, love, LOVE arugula! I’ve never had wild rice, but hey, I’m not from Minnesota… It sounds delicious, though :)

    I took my mom on a trip to Gran Canaria about a month ago! Boyfriend couldn’t come, because he couldn’t get away from work, but me and my mom had a lot of fun!

    Have a great trip!

  7. Holy delicious!! Love this salad…and that lemon dressing!

  8. Love the idea of sweet potatoes, cashews and lemon together – this would be a great work lunch! Simple and easy to throw together but lovely and healthy, too. I’ve been living in Greece and Australia for a long time (yes, sort of concurrently … complicated story) and am looking forward to going back to the UK soon but dreading the yucky weather! I’m sure I’ll be seeking some sunshine too this time next year! Hope you have a wonderful time in sunny Arizona with your sunny grandparents!

  9. Beautiful! And I love all of these ingredients!!

  10. A salad that’s this beautiful and hearty….totally irresistible! I love it!

  11. We are heading on a cruise to the Cayman Islands in two weeks, so we’re eating lots of salads over here!!!! This one looks great so we’ll have to give it a try!!

    Have fun is Sunny AZ! Maybe you can catch a Cubs spring training game while you’re there. =)

  12. Oh man, it’s been so cold here that salads are the last thing on my mind, but THIS salad looks absolutely incredible. Yum!

  13. Oh yum, Lindsay! This looks like a rockstar salad – yummy! Pinned :)

  14. I must say, I am here for the first time, and I like it very much. This salad is just to my taste. Thank you for inspiration :-)

  15. http://www.indianharvest.com/recipes-sweet-potato–crimson-lentil-soup-with-wild-rice–kale-254
    Here is one you would probably love! I don’t think you would want a gallon of it tho. haha It would be easy enough to reduce it. Lentil and wild rice!

    • I just made the Indian Harvest recipe for dinner tonight (divided by 4) and it was awesome! Highly recommend!

  16. I have to admit, it’s hard for me to eat salads in the winter, but with warm sweet potatoes and rice? I may just have to make an exception. I am unfortunately not traveling anywhere warm anytime soon, but I hear Ohio may see the 50s this week. Time to break out the tank tops! Be sure to post lots of sunny pictures so we can live vicariously through you…deal?

  17. Gorgeous salad!! Our neighbor just gifted us with a huge bag of arugula from his garden! And anything with sweet potatoes I’m in love with!

  18. This recipe and photo makes me really wish I liked arugula and sweet potatoes more than I do. Maybe I will give it a shot.

  19. I have had a craving for sweet potatoes recently…doesn’t really make sense, but this salad does! Definitely happening within the next week! Thanks so much for this salad inspiration!
    Abby

  20. Delicious recipe and I love lemon dressings. Have fun in AZ!

  21. I live in sunny Arizona, and you guys are definitely going to be enjoying the sunshine while you are here and there is a very good chance you will return home all bronzed up! You are coming at just the right time, because Arizona summer is just around the corner and I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. I’m always looking for filling, healthy salads and this one looks great!

  22. Love this salad! Pinned!

  23. I am also headed to AZ, but not until April! I can hardly wait. Partially because I also need to get out of this frozen state for a while (even though it is beautiful today!), but mainly because I’m visiting my momma. :) Hope you have a great trip!!

  24. Can I tell you that arugula is my “put an egg on it” thing? Making soup? Put arugula in it! Making a sandwich? Put arugula in it! Love that bitter note it adds to all kinds of things. Also, please add me to the wild rice fan club list! Love it in warm or chilled salads and definitely hearty enough to travel to work for lunch. Lastly, I’ve become a little bit obsessed with roasted butternut squash tossed with olive oil and Penzey’s Southwest Seasoning and then roasted. (Sweet and spicy!) So… pretty much I’m gonna use that in this salad. So… yeah. :)

  25. I love the look/internet smell-taste of this salad! If I had a big bowl of this right now, I would be one happy camper. Headed to Cali in less than 2 weeks!!!! Have a great time in Arizona!

  26. you guys are welcome to Dallas anytime :) that dressing and cashews – yum yum yum.

  27. This looks so delicious! I am going to be making this as soon as I buy the ingredients. I just love your posts! :) How’s that cute baby nephew of yours’. You will be the very best Auntie!!

  28. Another perfect salad, love everything about this, it’s in the 80′s today in Az, you should have no problem attaining the tan, citrus is going like mad here. Enjoy!

  29. Loving salads that include grains recently, too! I’m not sure why everything that has veggies and greens automatically gets named a “salad.” It makes it sound so boring when clearly this is anything but! I’m also not sure why this lemon dressing isn’t already in my mouth. Ugh.

    Also, I live in Idaho, so no help here, and no vacation time until June…when I will be stay-cationing in Idaho. Um. It’s really pretty here?

  30. Beautiful flavor combo and exquisite colors. Pinned :)

  31. I think I’m in love! This really is one of the most lovely salads I’ve ever seen. I’ve pinned it and I’m already planning that THIS is dinner tomorrow night! Thanks so much!

  32. Yum…I’m definitely a salad nut! In fact everything I eat in accompanied by a BIG salad so I’m excited about this one! ;) Arizona eh??? Just so happens I live right outside of the Phoenix area in San Tan Valley! It is definitely beautiful right now, you’ve picked the BEST time of year to visit ;) If you’re hankering for something to do while your down here, I just so happen to work for a horse drawn carriage company… and if you don’t mind the drive out to my place, I’d be happy to take you and the fam for a fun little country carriage ride! ;)…as long as it’s before April 8th, as I will be taking a trip to CA for a few weeks:) Can’t wait for your next post, Mmmmm!!!

  33. Roasted sweet potatoes are one of my very favorite ways to bulk up a salad, and this combination looks AMAZING! What I love most is all your homemade salad dressings, I need to do more of that, thank you for the inspiration!!

    Have such a GOOD, WARM, SUNNY time in Arizona! :)

  34. I LOVE YOUR WEBSITE!!! The food is amazing! The photography is beautiful. This salad will be made soon. My daughter and I adored this salad a lot!! http://pinchofyum.com/pomegranate-kale-wild-rice-salad-with-walnuts-feta

    Thank you!!!!

  35. Salads 24 /7, 365 for the win!
    Love wild rice too, but it’s hard to find and expensive here in Australia. Mum has recently discovered a love of black and red rice, so they have been making a lot of appearances on the dinner table. I bet this salad would be delicious with black rice instead :)
    I hope you have a wonderful trip to sunny Arizona! You certainly deserve to defrost after 50 days below 0!

  36. I made this tonight and it was so yummy! And sooo easy! I am a salad fanatic too and this is definitely now a new favorite and I can easily see being a hit at pot lucks etc.

  37. I love arugula! It has a nice spicy bite that you don’t get from other greens. Yummo!

    Enjoy Arizona!! We aren’t going anywhere warm but my husband and I are getting away for a 5 day weekend with friends. It cannot come fast enough!!!

  38. That is one good looking salad. You can eat salads always in my book. We didn’t have any winter to speak of really. I think we had one day below zero and that was about it. Still… Rain for three months is not fun either, so I’m glad it’s starting to warm up now! As for sunny destinations; we’re going to Sumatra in October.. Still a long time away but counting the days!

  39. I have had this salad without the wild rice and it is so good, but now I will try a little rice – it can only make it better.

  40. This has sent me to the moon and back. I absolutely adore wild rice and I remember salivation over you chicken wild rice soup. So many of your food I need to keep cooking – if only I can have a little bit more time.

  41. ok, i seriously just sat here STARING at this beautiful salad…it looks SO yummy, can’t wait to try it, the recipe sounds fantastic!

  42. can i just have a straw and drink the lemon dressing pleaseeeee? =) this sounds so yummy!

  43. Salad looks aaamazing! Love the addition of sweet potatoes. We recently moved to Dallas from the north. 80 degrees in March… WHAAAT! I’ll take it! Have a great trip!

  44. GORGEOUS GORGEOUS salad!

  45. Have a wonderful trip!! Arizona is so beautiful, especially when you’ve been craving warm weather and non-freezing temperatures for months on end. My grandparents live there too, in a little town about 5 miles north of the Mexico border. We visited them for Christmas and ohmygoodness that was nice! I really hope you’re able to take some time off from blogging/recipe photographing/recipe developing and enjoy your vacation!

    And this salad… Oh goodness. Lemon dressings are my favorite! I can’t get enough of Panera’s lemon poppy seed, so having a recipe for something homemade (and cheaper — my parents own a lemon tree!) is awesome!

  46. This recipe was the Bomb.Com!!! The flavor worked and blended perfectly!! I served it warm. I love your site & encouragement with starting food blogs!! You both rock!!

    BTW— I live in sunny San Diego in a cozy beach town. Just kicked off beach weekend season this past Sunday. Give a holler if ever in SD!!

  47. Just gorgeous! I totally agree that salads are one of the very best, yummiest ways to combine all the tastes, textures and nutrients you could possibly want in a meal into one delicious creation. This salad absolutely achieves that! Love it! Hope you have an awesome, vitamin-D drenched trip! :D

  48. What an amazing looking salad! I’ve never tried the whole wild rice in salads thing, but you’re making me want to immediately!

  49. I stumbled across your blog the other day and am really enjoying it. Made this salad for dinner last night, super yum. I always buy some wild rice when I visit my grandparents in Minnesota…used up the last of mine with this recipe. :)

    If you like pie (and I have yet to meet a Minnesotan who doesn’t!) you should check out my blog!

    Thanks!

  50. Oh I just love every single ingredient in this dish! I can image eating this, feeling so good with something so delicious and healthy.

  51. I love the flavour and texture combinations in this salad! Looks super fresh and bright.

  52. I know arugula tends to be a little bit bitter, but I can already taste the mixture of the dressing of your delicious recipes creating arugula into a decadent craving!

  53. This salad was delicious. I served it with some grilled chicken for my husband who insists on meat for all meals.
    I can’t help but think it would have looked prettier if it was in a bowl like yours. Any chance it’s a recent purchase?

    • It’s from Goodwill! :) I think it’s actually a living room decor kind of bowl but I washed it out really well and I lined the bottom with plastic wrap just to make sure we weren’t ingesting anything weird from it.

  54. With its wonderful combination of ingredients, this salad sounds just marvelous. One of the things I have noticed about homemade salad dressings is that they have a much stronger flavor so you can use less. (No extra water and starch or whatever they use in commercial dressings to stretch them). Thanks for a great idea–I’m in a salad mode also. –Rocquie

  55. I have to tell you, this dressing changed my life. So good! We changed the salad combination but arugula plus this dressing is amazing!

  56. I think I just fell in LOVE. With this salad. Yup. I’m already getting butterflies in my stomach just thinking about eating it tomorrow for lunch.

    Thank you, Lindsay, for introducing us! ;)

  57. Judith Kissner says:

    This salad received rave reviews from everyone at my last book group. It was easy to make and the variety of textures made a beautiful presentation. Arugula wasn’t available, so I substituted the Earthbound Farms power greens mixture which contains baby spinach, baby red and green chard, and baby kale. I did all of the prep work the day before and assembled just before serving. Five stars!

  58. Hi, thanks for this recipe! I’m really into salads right now and this was a nice departure from my usual. I didn’t have straight wild rice, just long grain/wild rice combo. I didn’t have agave nectar so subbed in some honey. And my greens only had a little arugula in them! haha. But it was still delicious. The roasted sweet potatoes with chili powder alone would make a great side dish all by themselves. And I loved the dressing! A+

  59. I made this salad last night and it was absolutely AMAZING! Thank you SO much for posting this. The dressing is to die for and I will definitely make more to have on hand. Thank you again! All the ingredients blend together for absolute tasting perfection!

  60. I tried this last night…soooooo good! The dressing is amazing too and like others, I think I’ll make a bunch for the week…Yum. Had it for dinner last night and lunch today..
    Thanks for posting :-)

  61. This was so good! YUMMY! Thank you for this.

  62. I just made this salad and it was amazing, especially the dressing!!

  63. Yum! This looks great! Do you think the dressing would still taste good without the agave?

  64. This is a great recipe! The first time I made it I used watercress and sweet potatoes, peanuts and southwest seasonings. Today I’m using arugula, a butternut squash, and cashews with garam masala. I doubled the dressing to have some for a green salad later….yummy. What a great make ahead lunch for the week!

  65. Oh, and I subbed honey at a 1:1 ratio for the agave as I am not vegan and don’t keep agave on hand since my neighbor keeps bees and she loves me :)

  66. I made this for dinner last night and it was amazing! So simple too. I added some leftover shredded roasted chicken. My husband said it was his favorite thing I’ve made lately!

  67. Dominique says:

    Yay! A vegan recipe!

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