This hearty Sweet Potato, Wild Rice and Arugula Salad is full of flavor and works great as a meatless main dish or a side dish alongside your favorite protein!
It may be forecasted to snow tomorrow, but I’ll still eat a big plate of this Sweet Potato, Wild Rice and Arugula salad. Are you a salad year-round type of person or do you lose interest in them once it gets cold? I eat salads year-round. The only thing that changes are the ingredients I use.
In my opinion salads made with seasonal produce are the best. Not only do you get the freshest and best tasting ingredients, but it’s also better for the environment. The produce doesn’t have to travel as far to get to your table.
You can of course buy sweet potatoes any time of year, but their peak season is October through December. That’s one reason you see so many recipes using them during the holidays, one of my favorites being these Brown Butter and Rosemary Mashed Sweet Potatoes.
How to Roast Sweet Potatoes
Roasting sweet potatoes is simple, delicious and won’t dirty a bunch of dishes.
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil or parchment paper and preheat your oven to 425° F.
- Peel the sweet potatoes and cut them into approximately one inch cubes. Cutting them the same size will ensure that they all cook properly.
- Place the diced sweet potatoes onto the prepared baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. I generally use approximately one tablespoon per one large potato. Sprinkle with kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper and toss everything together with your hands until they’re coated.
- Spread the potatoes into a single layer, don’t overcrowd them and bake for 15 minutes. Remove them from the oven and toss them around so that all sides get crisp. Bake for another 10-15 minutes or until they’re tender.
Along with the roasted sweet potatoes there is also wild rice, arugula, dried cranberries, toasted pecans and pepitas.
What are Pepitas?
I use pepitas in many of my fall recipes and it’s come to my attention that a lot of people have no idea what they are. Pepitas and pumpkin seeds are often thought of to be the same thing. However, they’re actually different and no, pepitas aren’t shelled pumpkin seeds. Pepitas grow shell-free in a specific types of pumpkins, either Styrian or Oilseed. So, yes, pepitas are pumpkin seeds, but only in those two specific pumpkins.
I generally purchase my pepitas at Whole Foods in the bulk section. They are great to snack on by themselves or use them in salads like this one or as a topping for soup.
Ways to Use Pepitas
- Harvest Quinoa Salad
- Roasted Butternut Squash and Pumpkin Soup
- Pepita Brittle
- Lentil. Wild Rice and Cranberry Stuffed Squash
Every good fall salad needs a delicious dressing or vinaigrette. One of my go-to dressings is the balsamic maple vinaigrette that I used in this Grilled Fig, Goat Cheese and Pistachio Salad. It’s sweet with a hint of smoky flavor from the maple syrup and goes great with bitter arugula and nutty rice and sweet potatoes in this salad.
This Sweet Potato, Wild Rice and Arugula Salad is vegan, gluten-free and works great as either a main dish salad or serve it as a side dish. It would also be an amazing addition to your Thanksgiving table this year!
More Fall Salads
- 1 1/2 cups cooked wild rice blend
- 1 sweet potato. peeled, diced and roasted
- 1 apple, diced
- 5 ounces baby arugula
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup toasted pecans, chopped
- 2 tablespoons pepitas
Balsamic Maple Vinaigrette
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
Combine together all of the ingredients for the salad. In a small bowl or jar with a lid, whisk or shake together the ingredients for the vinaigrette. Pour the vinaigrette over the salad just before serving and toss everything together until coated.
- If you aren't serving the salad right away or plan to have leftovers, store the dressing separately as the arugula will wilt quickly.
- Nutritional info. based on 4 servings
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 286Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 144mgCarbohydrates: 48gFiber: 6gSugar: 21gProtein: 5g