A Hefty, Hearty Salad to Make January Better

January 29, 2015

Salad shouldn't be an obligation or an afterthought -- and it doesn't always have to be kale, either. Every other Thursday, Elizabeth Stark from Brooklyn Supper will help you make salads you actually want to eat.

Today: When it's this cold outside, you don't need a wimpy salad. You need a salad with some rice and some heft.

Winter is hard. Let's just eat some good food and get on with it. In this case, good winter food is in the form of a classic grain salad with all the right chewy, bright, crunchy, sweet notes, plus hearty greens for sustenance. 

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The salad begins with wild rice tossed in a pink-hued blood orange vinaigrette. Then it's layered with sautéed shallots and rainbow chard, toasted pepitas, dried cherries, and wonderfully drippy slices of blood orange. If you make it for lunch it will almost certainly be the best lunch ever. But it's not just a good candidate for midday meals -- consider this beauty an excellent option as a side, light dinner, or from-the-fridge snack. 

This salad is at its peak when served warm, right away, though it also keeps beautifully. If you're eating the salad out of the fridge, set it out for 20 minutes to take the chilly edge off. 

Rainbow Chard and Wild Rice Salad with Blood Orange Vinaigrette

Serves 4 to 6

For the vinaigrette:

1 tablespoon blood orange zest plus 3 tablespoons juice
2 tablespoons minced shallot
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup olive oil

For the salad:

1 dry cup wild rice
Sea salt, to taste
1/4 cup raw, hulled pepitas
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 shallot, sliced
1 bunch rainbow chard, chopped
1/4 cup dried tart cherries
3 medium blood oranges, peeled and sliced into rounds
2 tablespoons minced chives
Ground black pepper, to taste

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Photos by Elizabeth Stark

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A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).

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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Emily Lange Trickey
    Emily Lange Trickey
  • Edis Tamošauskas
    Edis Tamošauskas
  • JulieJulie
  • EMR
  • Elizabeth Stark
    Elizabeth Stark
Elizabeth Stark, along with her husband Brian Campbell, chronicles her passion for simple, fresh recipes on the award-wining food blog Brooklyn Supper.


Emily L. January 11, 2016
Any whole grain or legume substitute suggestions for the rice?
Elizabeth S. January 11, 2016
Hi Emily,
Keep in mind that the wild rice used in the recipe isn't a true rice, but a grain derived from grasses. For an alternative, I'd opt for something nice and chewy but with a little bite – spelt or farro would be great. I have a legume allergy, so I can't offer suggestions for that. Enjoy!
Edis T. February 2, 2015
And what a look! Must be outstanding.
JulieJulie February 2, 2015
Really enjoyed this! Earthy and bright flavors, smooth and chewy textures; great winter recipe. Served with broiled sockeye.
Elizabeth S. February 2, 2015
Hi Julie, That sockeye sounds like such a nice accompaniment for this salad! I'm thrilled you liked the recipe and really appreciate you dropping by to say so. Thanks!
EMR January 30, 2015
Great serving dishes. Good design for the way our family eats. Where are they from? Thanks
Elizabeth S. January 31, 2015
Hi EMR, Glad you like them! They're from Falcon Enamel.