Hearty Sweet Potato, Arugula & Wild Rice Salad with Ginger Dressing

Thank you so much to everyone who filled out our 2019 reader survey. With over 5,000 responses (holy moly!), I’m still reading through and taking notes on your answers.

Thank you for your kind encouragement and suggestions. I’ve already implemented a few of the most frequent requests. You’ll now find a “jump to recipe” button at the top of every recipe post, in case you’re in a hurry or working on your grocery list.

I’m also investigating better search solutions, and I’ve fixed an issue with the mobile version of the menu so you now have easier access to all of the recipe filters.

I’m carefully considering your responses. Since I’m both the website developer and recipe developer, working on one side takes time from the other. I love stretching my brain in both directions, though, and keeping the Cookie and Kate team small. I’d rather grow slowly than burn out, because this is my absolute dream job.

These things take time. I also need time to sleep, and Cookie wants to go on more walks. Maybe I’ll make another cookbook. I’m definitely going on more vacations and hope you do, too.

Anyway, let’s move on to the main attraction—this stunner of a salad! Cheers to many more fresh and wholesome recipes this year. Thank you for being here.

This salad came to be by accident. In a state of impending hanger, I threw together the leftovers scavenged from my fridge: fresh arugula, cooked wild rice, baked sweet potato fries (why not?), and ginger dressing.

I topped it with the leftover toasted nuts and seeds sitting in a bowl by the sink, and somehow summoned the energy to add some crumbled feta.

That salad really hit the spot, so I jotted down some notes about it and here we are.

Why This Salad Works

Spicy arugula offers a nutritious, green base. Fresh ginger in the salad dressing balances the sweetness of the caramelized sweet potatoes. I’ve been obsessed with wild rice in salads lately, since it offers such a great, chewy-tender texture and nutty flavor.

Crumbled feta, green onion and dried cranberries round it out to create a bold, beautiful fall and winter salad. This is a meal-in-a-bowl situation.

Salad Notes

This is a seriously large salad that makes great leftovers. Be sure to store the salad and dressing separately if you intend to have leftovers that last for several days. You can toss it all together at once, but the arugula wilts fairly quickly—not a bad effect if you’re eating it all within a day or so.

You could also easily halve this recipe, if you don’t want to make an enormous amount at once. Either way, you’ll end up with some leftover dressing that you can use to improvise your own salads. Let me know how those turn out!

If you have an Instant Pot, (affiliate link) check out the recipe notes for a foolproof and faster way to cook the wild rice.

Change It Up

This recipe is versatile. Here are a few ways to change it to suit your needs:

  • For extra protein, add cooked chickpeas.
  • Butternut squash would work well in place of the sweet potato. Or, you could save time and simplify the recipe by swapping raw diced apples for the sweet potato.
  • Any cooked whole grain (about 3 cups) will work in place of the wild rice; farro or wheat berries would be really nice.
  • Sub your favorite green for the arugula (massaged chopped kale or baby kale, spinach, spring greens, etc.).

Please let me know how this salad turns out for you in the comments! It’s not the quickest salad to make, but it keeps so well that it’s definitely worth the effort.