Back to school season is here, which means a reprieve from the blistering heat (hopefully), my last semester of graduate school, and the promise of pumpkin spice and fresh apple flavored foods in my near future. Unfortunately, it also means exhaustingly long days, hectic schedules and a goodbye to anything resembling free time.
Once September rolls around I am back to leaving my apartment before 6 every morning, and often not getting back until around 10pm. Between classes, getting to the gym, working as a research assistant and getting my homework done, my schedule is pretty much booked solid during the week. Not only does this leave me very little time to cook, it also means I eat almost all of my meals away from home either while sitting through lectures, in my office or while commuting. This means a lot of meal prep over the weekends, and a backpack full of food at all times.
For my first week of class I decided to make a simple dish using the produce I had left from my weekly CSA box. I needed something that was easy to make, and that I would be able to easily pack as meals on the go. I paired up my farm fresh potatoes and broad beans with some wild rice, toasted pecans, fresh figs and a sherry vinaigrette inspired by a dish my sister-in-law has made me before. It was a perfect combination of flavors, and lasted well in the fridge all week to help get me through my long first week of classes.
This recipe allowed me to mix a bunch of different ingredients I had around the house, and is really very versatile.
- Don’t have pecans? Try roasted walnuts, or slivered almonds, or omit the nuts all together.
- Don’t have broad beans? Try green beans, or snap peas.
- Don’t have figs? Try dried cranberry, or sliced pear, or sliced apple
It’s an easy dish to throw together with delicious results, even during those busy weeks.
Wild Rice Salad
- 1 cup dry wild rice, prepared as instructed on package
- 1 lb flat beans, trimmed and cut into ~3” pieces
- 5 small potatoes, cut into 1” cubes
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 5 figs, chopped
- 1/3 cup pecans
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- 3 tbsp sherry vinegar
- 1 tbsp oil
- 2 small clove garlic, finely minced
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp pepper
- Preheat oven to 400F
- Toss potatoes, beans, garlic and olive oil in a large bowl until evenly covered, sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Distribute the vegetables evenly on a baking sheet and cook for around 35 minutes, or until the potatoes start to get crispy.
- While the vegetables are roasting, prepare the dressing by whisking together the sherry vinegar, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper in a small bowl.
- Remove the baking pan and lower the oven temperature to 350.
- Spread pecans on a parchment paper lined baking sheet, and allow to toast for 10 minutes.
- In a large bowl, combine the cooked wild rice, roasted vegetables, chopped figs, and toasted pecans.
- Drizzle dressing over the top, and toss until well distributed
- Enjoy! (or in my case, pack up into individual sized portions, and enjoy throughout the week at my desk or during lectures)