Warm, sunny days inspire many of us to hit the parks, sit poolside or share time with family and friends picnicking. Lighter fare that can satisfy and hold up well as temperatures rise is a must. This hearty salad is easy to make (and take), visually appealing and palate pleasing. Use it as a side dish or as a meatless main dish. For maximum flavor, I recommend making the salad the night before you plan to serve it.
Artichoke Wild Rice Salad
6 ounces marinated artichoke hearts
2 cups cooked wild rice
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
8 ounces sliced water chestnuts
1/2 cup diced red pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon leaves
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 to 3 drops hot pepper sauce, or more to taste
Drain artichokes and reserve 2 tablespoons of liquid.
Combine artichokes, rice, peas, water chestnuts and red pepper in a large bowl.
In a small bowl, combine oil, reserved artichoke liquid, vinegar, tarragon, mustard and pepper sauce.
Pour over salad mixture and toss to coat. Refrigerate for a minimum of 6 hours before serving. Makes approximately 8 servings.
Recipe is adapted from the cookbook Treasury of Cooking Healthy – Great Tasting Low-fat Recipes. (Lincolnwood, Publications International, Ltd.,1995)
**Savory substitutions: In place of wild rice, try long grain red or black rice which are rich in antioxidants due to their darker hues. Also, consider sliced hearts of palm in place of water chestnuts, edamame in place of green peas or diced beets in place of diced red peppers.