Thursday, May 26, 2011

Veggie Might: Wild Rice Salad with Edamame (or Fresh Fava Beans and Three Hours)

Written by the fabulous Leigh, Veggie Might is a weekly Thursday column about all things Vegetarian.

I’ve been so bored by my lunches of late: repeat appearances of grain-bean-green bowls, salad after endless green salad, and I’ve been looking for something new and exciting, but simple enough to make quickly or ahead in bulk. I was seduced by the photograph accompanying this recipe Wild Rice and Edamame Salad at

Mmm...wild rice and edamame. So pretty! So healthy! So springy! But when I clicked through, the secondary and tertiary ingredients were woefully disappointing. Dried fruit and nuts? Five tablespoons of oil? Honey? So sweet! So oily! So blechy! (I probably hold the minority opinion here, but bear with me.)

But I was inspired. I tossed out the original recipe and recreated the dish based on what I wanted it to be: a savory and tangy, high-protein, high-fiber salad I can take to work for lunch or serve at a picnic. I replaced almost everything except the primary wild rice and edamame.

My first attempt was still a little oily (at 2 tablespoons), so I cut back even further and found success. I’d happened on fresh fava beans at my local market and thought they’d make a delicious alternative to the edamame for my second go. I was right, but here’s the thing. You really have to want fava beans.

It took me six episodes of the Big Bang Theory to shell two pounds of beans. Do you want to know the yield of my three-hour effort? One cup of fava beans and 10 pruney fingers. While the resulting salad was delicious, it was not better than the edamame version, and certainly not worth the toil if time is precious.

Third (and fourth) time was perfection. Back to edamame, I achieved the right balance of oil to lemon juice, dressing to salad, and bean to rice. And though I found my flavor grail, I think this recipe would be equally good with leeks or shallots, parsley or mint, and lemon juice or lime—whatever your taste buds desire. Maybe even dried cranberries and honey.


If this recipe tips your canoe, swim on over to:

Wild Rice Salad with Edamame (or Fresh Fava Beans and Three Hours)
inspired by Wild Rice and Edamame Salad at
Serves 6

1 1/4 cup edamame, shelled (or fresh fava beans, shelled and hulls removed*)
1 cup uncooked wild rice
3 cups water
1/2 cup carrot, grated
1/2 cup celery, finely chopped
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon leek, minced
1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 tablespoon black pepper

*Check out this informative slide show for easy, if labor-intensive, fava bean management.

1) Cook 1 cup of wild rice in 3 cups of boiling water for 40 minutes or until fluffy and tender.

2) Make dressing by whisking together 1 tablespoon olive oil, lemon juice, leeks, salt, pepper, and mint in a large mixing bowl. Allow to meld while thawing your edamame or shelling fava beans, if you’re going the martyr route.

2a) Remove fava beans from pods, and then hulls from beans. This can take a couple of hours if you're alone. Netflix helps.

3) Quick-sautee edamame or fava beans in garlic and 1 teaspoon olive oil for 1 to 2 minutes. In a mixing bowl, toss dressing, rice, and beans with carrots and celery.

4) Serve at room temperature or chilled as a side or over salad greens.

Approximate Calories, Fat, Fiber, Protein, and Price per Serving
Edamame-style: 176.5 calories, 5.4g fat, 2.5g fiber, 3.8g protein, $49
Fava Beany: 168 calories, 4g fat, 2.3g fiber, 2.4g protein, $.61

1 1/4 cup edamame: 236.3 calories, 10g fat, 10g fiber, 21.3g protein, $0.74
[1 cup fava beans: 187 calories, 1g fat, 9g fiber, 13g protein, $1.50]
1 cup uncooked wild rice: 571 calories, 2g fat, 0g fiber, 0g protein, $1.33
1/2 cup carrot: 26 calories, 0g fat, 2g fiber, 0.5g protein, $0.16
1/2 cup celery: 6 calories, 0g fat, 1g fiber, 0g protein, $0.08
1 tablespoon olive oil: 159.6 calories, 18.6g fat, 0g fiber, 0g protein, $0.11
1 tablespoon lemon juice: 6 calories, 0g fat, 0g fiber, 0g protein, $0.12
1 tablespoon leek: 54 calories, 0g fat, 2g fiber, 1g protein, $0.25
1 tablespoon fresh mint: 0 calories, 0g fat, 0g fiber, 0g protein, $0.04
2 teaspoons sea salt: negligible calories, fat, fiber, protein, $.02
1 tablespoon black pepper: negligible calories, fat, fiber, protein, $.02
TOTALS (with edamame): 1059 calories, 32.6g fat, 15g fiber, 22.8g protein, $2.87
PER SERVING (TOTALS/6): 176.5 calories, 5.4g fat, 2.5g fiber, 3.8g protein, $49

TOTALS (with fava beans): 1010 calories, 23.6g fat, 14g fiber, 14.5g protein, $3.63
PER SERVING (TOTALS/6): 168 calories, 4g fat, 2.3g fiber, 2.4g protein, $.61

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Hilva said...

What is causing that obnoxious travel ad to stay up??

Claire said...

Where did you guys disappear to? Did I miss an announcement saying you'd be offline for awhile?

Hope everything's OK.

marie said...

Just wanted to say hi and let you know I really like your blog and have missed your posts for the past couple of weeks. I hope everything is ok and you're not posting because you're doing something that is a lot of fun!

marie said...

Just wanted to let you know that I really enjoy your blog and have missed your posts. I hope everything is ok and that you've been doing something that's lots of fun!

Anonymous said...

What happened to this blog? No posts for over a week!

liza r said...

Hey, Kris, hope everything is ok...

Claire Dawson said...

Not to be dramatic, but you guys aren't dead or anything, are you?

We worry.

Anonymous said...

Could you please put a post when you aren't going to post for an extended period?

Erik Moore said...

Ok, I love two things when I eat: rice and lemon. I love it even more in a salad! I feel healthier, thanks!

breedermama said...

What would you serve with this? We're trying to exclude meat most days.

Heather said...

I made this recipe this past weekend and now I have to ask, is it really supposed to be 1 Tablespoon of black pepper, or wast that a misprint? That seemed like a lot when I was putting the dressing together, but I went ahead and did it anyway. The taste was just overwhelming. The only way I can eat the salad now is by mixing it in with plenty of baby spinach and cucumbers, so that the pepper taste is cut down. I think I'll try the recipe again, but with only half the pepper. I used freshly grinded pepper, maybe that was the problem?

Rachelle said...

I've never put wild rice in a salad--but this recipe sounds delicious and I may just have to give it a try!

Anonymous said...

3 cups of water for 1 cup of wild rice? I didn't think that through and it resulted in some very mushy rice and about an hour cooking time...are you using some special brand of wild rice? And one tablespoon of pepper does seem a bit excessive...

forksnknives said...

There's this recipe analyzer I use frequently, you should try it out!