That’s our very first strawberry, you guys! We’ve been munching on garden greens and radishes for the past few weeks, but that strawberry…that strawberry is officially a message from the garden, telling us that summer is finally here. I’ve been watching it daily and cheering it on as it went from green-ish white to blush to the most vibrant red. Now don’t go thinking that I’ll be putting my garden strawberries into any wild rice salads! Those are reserved for eating straight out of the soil, with nothing more than a quick rinse from the garden hose.
Maybe I’m getting a little ahead of myself with a full-on summer salad recipe, but it’s my birthday this week (31, baby!) and I can do what I want. We’re hosting a small birthday BBQ for a few friends on Sunday and there will be shish kebabs, beer, and a few fun and colourful salads, of course. Maybe even tacos… Other than that, I don’t have a plan yet, but I’ve been brainstorming salad ideas and this one came up as I was thinking about how I wanted to play with strawberries this season. It looks a little fancy, but it’s really simple to put together, especially if you cook up the rice in advance.
Wild rice is one of the few rice varieties that I like (it’s actually not even rice, but comes from a few related grass species). It’s chewy, nutty, and full of flavour and funk. I paired it with juicy summer fruit and a mix of herbs and spices that all share a citrus-y vibe.
If you’re growing an herb garden, I highly recommend lemon thyme. It’s fruitier and more interesting than regular thyme and plays well with both sweet and savoury ingredients. Like the name suggests, it has a lemon-y scent and is a bit milder with respect to the classic thyme flavour. I have no idea why, but I have yet to see it sold at stores or markets. I’m sure there are places to buy it, but if you haven’t seen it either, you can totally make it happen in the garden, or even with a small pot by a sunny window. If lemon-thyme is not an option, skip it, or use a few sprigs of regular thyme instead.
Enjoy + Happy June :)
P.S. I shared a sprouting guide on The Theory NYC last week. If you’re interested in growing some fresh summer greens right in your kitchen – this is for you!!
- 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 Tbsp. honey
- 1/4 tsp. sea salt
- a pinch of ground cardamom
- 1 cup of wild rice, cooked with a 3:1 water to rice ratio, and cooled
- 1/2 - 1 cup of sliced strawberries
- 1-2 sliced nectarines or peaches (or 1 of each)
- 2 Tbsp. chopped pistachios, lightly toasted
- sumac and lemon thyme, to garnish
- salt, to taste
- Whisk all of the dressing ingredients and set aside
- Combine cooked and cooled rice with sliced fruit and toss with the dressing. Taste and add salt or an extra pinch of cardamom, if necessary.
- Top with pistachios, sumac, and lemon thyme.