Recipe: Wild Rice & Watercress Salad

Wild Rice & Watercress Salad

20 Min Meals | Vegetarian & VeganHere’s one of those ‘bung it all in and see what happens’ sort of suppers – supposedly celebrating all the fabulous produce that early British summertime brings, (though I fear that summer might in fact have been and gone…. oh well, it was fun whilst it lasted).

If you’re a regular reader you’ll have noticed that I’m not much of a salad fan…. I rarely find a salad filling and satisfying enough to count as a main meal in its own right, but adding grains like giant cous cous (here), bulgur wheat (here), or rice (here) transforms a collection of vegetables (ie. a side dish), into a proper stand-alone main course.

I love the wild rice mixes you can get from supermarkets these days – either in a bag to boil your own, or if you’re as lazy as me, the microwaveable pouches which take 2 minutes to steam.  I know Tilda, Veetee and Uncle Ben’s all do a microwaveable wild rice – I just happened to have this one in the cupboard as it was on special offer!

You can bung any vegetable into this sort of ‘substantial salad’. I opted for all the spring veg which are at their best at the moment – asparagus, radishes and watercress.  Add some protein and crunch from pine nuts and pumpkin seeds, lots of fresh parsley, a generous squeeze of lemon juice, a drizzle of dressing, and bingo – that’s supper sorted.

Wild Rice & Watercress Salad

Being lazy again, I’ve used a bottle of French dressing which lives in my fridge door, but if you’re keen to make your own I haven’t found a better recipe than Felicity Cloake’s ‘Perfect Vinaigrette‘ from the Guardian – worth making a batch to keep in the fridge.  Getting the right balance of acidity, sweetness and saltiness in a dressing is tricky, and this one is indeed perfect.

5 from 5 votes
Wild Rice & Watercress Salad
Wild Rice & Watercress Salad
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
5 mins
Total Time
10 mins
Course: Salad
Servings: 2 or 4 as a side salad
Author: Kate Ford | The Veg Space
  • 250 g pack microwaveable Long Grain & Wild Rice
  • 8 asparagus spears, cut into two pieces
  • 5 radishes, finely sliced
  • 1 spring onion, finely sliced
  • 60 g watercress
  • 25 g parsley, finely chopped
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 tbsp French dressing
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts
  • 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
  1. Cook the rice according to packet instructions, then tip into a large bowl and spread around to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a small saucepan of water to the boil, and add the asparagus. Cook for 3 minutes until just turning tender. Drain and add to the bowl with the rice.
  3. Add all the remaining ingredients, and toss together until everything is fully coated with the dressing. Taste and season with a little salt if required.
  4. Divide between two plates and serve immediately. (NB. If you are preparing this in advance, eg, to take to work in a lunchbox, leave the lemon juice and dressing off until you are about to eat it, or else the watercress will turn soggy and unpleasant).


Wild Rice & Watercress Salad

Wild Rice & Watercress SaladFor more simple Spring Vegetable Salads from blogging friends, take a look at:

or similar recipes from my blog:

Green Goddess Buddha Bowl
Green Goddess Lunch Bowl
Minted Bulgur Wheat with Fennel & Apple 2
Minted Bulgur Wheat with Fennel & Apple
Herby Giant Cous Cous 2
Herby Giant Cous Cous













I’m linking this recipe to the No Croutons Required challenge, co-hosted by Lisa’s Kitchen and Tinned Tomatoes.


  1. This sounds like a perfect summer salad!

  2. I call these meal salads. Grains add heft, minerals and importantly, satisfaction. I always have bags of prepared grains around (I show them to my cancer and nutrition classes and tell them to concentrate on getting the protein right when tiredness is at its worst) and they are so good in quick salads like this Lovely images too, Kate. 🙂

  3. Love this recipe, simple and looks delicious too! I also buy Uncle Ben’s rice haha it’s very convenient and good 🙂
    Diana recently posted…Spinach loquat SmoothieMy Profile

  4. Lovely flavours, textures and colours going in there Kate. I just my type of meal.
    Helen @ Fuss Free Flavours recently posted…Blueberry & Orange Cold Brew Iced Green TeaMy Profile

  5. I love big plates of food like this, and as Kellie says – they are definitley salad meals. Salad no longer needs to mean iceberg+toms+cuc (oh the salad of my youth!)
    Love wild rice, especially its dark colour and chewy texture, its just a shame as its so expensive those mixes don’t include more of this interesting grain and pad it out with the other stuff (I regularly buy a red and wild rice mix, I can’t find it on its own!)

    1. Ooh red and wild rice sounds fantastic – must look out for it!

  6. A real taste of summer – I adore wild rice in a salad, it really lifts it!
    Chris @thinlyspread recently posted…Pea Pesto with SpaghettiMy Profile

    1. Thanks Chris – me too!

  7. What a lovely looking salad and I hope this eans you will enjoy more salads from now on but I would urge you to coo up your own rice, it’s so much tastier. All I do is boil up rice in plenty of water, drain then let it steam with a lid on for 5 mins. You would love it, especially basmati! Thanls for linking to my salad too :))

    1. Thanks Laura – yes when I have the time I do prefer the flavour of home cooked rice, but do also like the convenience of these packs when time is short!

  8. LOVE THIS! <3 Looks ultra tasty, and its Vegan too!! Perfect summer food

    You have gained a new follower x

    RaeLikesFroot 🙂

    1. Great to hear it – thanks!

  9. Love how healthy and easy this salad is, Kate! Can’t wait to give it a try! 🙂 Just perfect for spring and summer!

  10. Wild rice is something I don’t cook with enough. Lovely recipe. Thanks for sharing with NCR.

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