This harvest wild rice salad with pumpkin, pomegranate and feta is the perfect addition to your next holiday gathering. All the fall flavors go perfectly together!
With a nice sharpness from the arugula and plenty of veggies, you have the perfect healthy side dish for Thanksgiving. The homemade dressing with olive oil and honey brings all the flavors together in this easy cold salad.
Make it ahead and add the dressing later if you like!
OK, so we don’t actually celebrate Thanksgiving in Europe.
But I’ve always sort of envied this wonderful holiday, with the family dinners and amazing food and dietary regrets the day after. I actually wrote about Thanksgiving way back when I was new to blogging and made Sam Sifton’s Classic Apple Pie recipe.
Brani and I talk about doing a small celebration every year, but so far we never followed through with it. First of all, it’s really hard to get our families together on a random Thursday when everyone has school or work the next day.
And also it’s kind of hard to get people excited about turkey and pumpkin pie around here. I seriously wish I was kidding, but it is what it is.
The only time we had some sort of Thanksgiving-ish dinner was actually the year we first met. Thanksgiving was on my mom’s birthday and I made my poor new boyfriend cook an entire dinner for her with me. Because you know, needed to show off his chef skills 😉
I even made a pumpkin pie and we had goose legs. Which is almost turkey, right?
But this year we promised each other to have a teeny-tiny Thanksgiving celebration with just our small family. Of course the day will start with simple pumpkin waffles, there’s no way around it. And for dinner there will probably be turkey legs and a small apple crisp, alongside some roasted vegetables and the salad of all salads – your new favorite healthy Thanksgiving side dish 😉
I strongly suggest you add this harvest wild rice salad to your Thanksgiving side dish rotation as well, because:
You can prep ahead!
And what’s more valuable than prep work on a big holiday?!
Roast the pumpkin the day before and store it in an airtight container in the fridge once it has cooled. Make the dressing in a small lidded jar and keep that in the fridge as well for up to two days. And while you’re at it, get the pomegranate seeds ready and into the fridge as well.
Then the day of, all you have to do is cook the rice (I don’t like to keep cooked rice because it’s easily contaminated), chop some arugula and assemble your salad.
You can customize it!
When I make grain salads, I basically always follow the same principle. So you can totally make this your own!
Use butternut squash or sweet potato instead of the pumpkin. Kale instead of arugula. Blue cheese in place of the feta. Dried cranberries vs pomegranate.
Absolutely up to you.
You can scale up or down!
This is a recipe that works just as well for a large group as it does for a tiny celebration.
You can easily halve the recipe to serve one or two people. Or double, triple, quadruple… To serve a crowd.
And if I haven’t convinced you enough by now, let me just tell you this: This recipe is as easy as they come. And yet, arranged on a platter, it looks so pretty and impressive. Almost like a centerpiece!
Just what your Thanksgiving needs!