Wild Rice and Kale Salad with Spicy Cauliflower Pesto

This is such a great hearty salad.  It’s filling enough for a meal in its self and is really good cold or hot.


Here is another use for this Spicy Cauliflower Pesto.  It’s fun coming up with ways to eat cauliflower since it’s so good for you and I really don’t care for it.  One way I do like it is the Indian side dish pakora which is a vegetable dipped in batter of gram flour and fried in ghee.

 When I was 16, my friend Janelle decided to go to cosmetology school and I had no Idea what I wanted to do.  I thought I might like it too, since it seemed creative, so I joined her.  Like you really need to know what to do with your life at 16, but I thought I did.  Every day we took a bus from the Santa Monica high school to Culver City’s James Victor Cosmetology School.  There was a Hare Krishna restaurant around the corner named Govindas and we went there a lot to get their samosas and pakoras.


You can pair this salad with a Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Albarino and Chardonnay for whites and Pinot Noir for a red.


Wild Rice and Kale Salad Recipe:

Serves 6 – 8

  • 1 Recipe Wild Rice – recipe below
  • 1 Recipe Spicy Roasted Cauliflower and Citrus Pesto – recipe below
  • 1/2 Cup Tangerine Champagne Vinaigrette – recipe below
  • 1 Orange Bell Pepper – roasted and diced
  • 1 Head of Kale or 7 Cups (I use  lacinato)
  • 1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Fennel Bulb – quartered and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 Cup Red Cabbage – finely minced
  • 1/2 Cup Garlic Green – thinly sliced (or green onion if you can’t find it)
  • 1 Cup Carrot – shredded
  • 1 Cup Sartori’s Rum Runner Cheese – finely grated (if you can’t find it you can use aged Asiago cheese) It’s usually at Whole Foods
  • 1 Jalapeño Pepper – finely minced
  • 1 Cup Micro Sprouts – your choice (I used broccoli sprouts)
Wild Rice
  • 1 Cup Wild Rice
  • 2 1/4 Cup Filtered Water
  • 1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Clove Garlic (optional)
  • 1 Unsalted Bouillon Cube (optional)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 2 Cups Cauliflower Florettes – chopped
  • 1 Cup Raw Walnuts
  • 3/4 Cup Sartori’s Rum Runner Cheese ( if you can’t find it you can use aged Asiago cheese)
  • 1/2 Cup plus 1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Jalapeno Peppers
  • 1/2 Cup Fresh Squeezed Tangerine Juice
  • 3 Tablespoons  Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt or to taste
  • 2/3 Cup Fresh Squeezed Tangerine Juice
  • 1 Teaspoon Tangerine Zest (optional)
  • 1/4 Cup Champagne Vinegar
  • 1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Shallots or 1/4 Cup
  • 2 Small Cloves Garlic or 2 Teaspoons
  • 1 Teaspoon Dijon Mustard
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt or to taste
  • Dash Black Pepper
Wild Rice

Make sure you rinse well before you cook to remove any particles.

Bring water, garlic, bouillon and salt to a boil then add the rice, cover and turn the heat to in-between medium-low and low.

Cook between low and medium low for 50 – 60 minutes or until rice has split open.  Every stove cooks differently so if you still have some water left just drain it.

* Unlike other rice it is ok to take the lid off to check if the water is gone, just put the lid back on.   Some people add 3 cups of water then drain after.


Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

Cut the cauliflower into small pieces, measure and in a bowl toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil and a dash of salt then spread out on a baking sheet.  Place on the middle shelf for 20 – 25 minutes or until lightly golden then let cool.

Grate the cheese and measure, cut the stems off the jalapenos and cut in half to remove seeds.

With a a hand held lemon juicer juice the tangerines and lemons then measure along with the rest of the ingredients, add everything to the food processor or blender and puree.


Add mustard, tangerine juice, zest, salt and pepper to a medium bowl and whisk together.

Next whisk in the champagne vinegar, then slowly whisk in the olive oil.  Stir in the garlic and shallots.


Roast the peppers on the stovetop on medium high heat.  A gas stove works the best but it will work fine on an electric stove. Char the peppers on all sides turning with a pair of tongs.  When good and charred, steam them for 10 minutes in a covered dish or a paper bag rolled shut to hold in the steam.

Take a paper towel and rub off the char.  It’s ok to leave a little of the char.  Slice in half and remove the seeds and stems.


Wash the kale and tear off main rib by holding the end of the stem and sliding off the leaves then chop into thin strips.

Put the kale in a large bowl with the olive oil and massage the oil into the kale then add the rice and dressing and mix well. (you can either completely cool the rice or add it in warm, I like it slightly warm)

Cut the stalks off of the fennel bulb, then cut the bulb in half, then cut out the core, then slice one of the half in half and then slice as thin as you can and add to kale.

Measure out the red cabbage, garlic greens, carrot, cheese, jalapeño,  add to the bowl and mix everything together well.

Garnish each serving with a good amount of micro sprouts.

*You can make the rice, pesto and vinaigrette the day before.

Health Benefits:

Kale is low in calories, high in fiber and it is a loaded with antioxidants which helps detox the liver.  It is also an anti-inflammatory with omega-3 fatty acids, which is helpful for arthritis, joint pain and asthma.  Kale has more Iron than beef and more calcium than milk which helps prevents osteoporosis, joint flexibility and helps maintain normal bone health. It is great for cardiovascular support that helps in lowering cholesterol.  It is really high in vitamin A, C, and super high in the powerful antioxidant vitamin K (anyone taking anticoagulants should avoid kale because the high level of vitamin K that may interfere with the drugs.)   More on kale

Wild rice is a good source of fiber there for it helps with digestion and to lower cholesterol.  It is a complete protein, and has twice as much protein as brown rice.  Wild rice contains all of the essential amino acids, but it’s a bit low in lysine.  It is extremely high in antioxidants so regular consumption protects you from disease and ageing.  A serving of wild rice is lower in calories than other any other rice and provides 15 percent of the recommended daily value of zinc.  It has good sources of essential minerals like phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, folate, Vitamin B6, and niacin.

Cauliflower is super charged with antioxidants and is a great source of vitamin C, a whole 77 percent of the recommended daily value.  It is also a very good source of manganese and has an excellent source of vitamin K, one of the best anti-inflammatory nutrients, as well other anti-inflammatory nutrients that help keep inflammation in check. Cauliflower contains over 9 grams in every 100 calories of fiber, which is great for digestive system support and also helps protect the lining of the stomach.  It is a good source of choline, a B vitamin known for its role in brain development and may boost cognitive function, and improve learning and memory.  It is found to significantly improve blood pressure and kidney function.  Compounds found in cauliflower also show anti-cancer effects.

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