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If you are a Seattlite, then I am sure you have tried PCC’s
famous Emerald City Salad. It is very popular in the area, and has built a
reputation amongst foodies and health conscious people alike. With one word it
is ADDICTIVE. The colors just exude health and vibrancy, and the flavors blend
together in perfect harmony. Whenever I visit the PCC deli, I have to buy a
serving. However, especially in the fall and winter months, when the flu and
the common cold seem to thrive amongst the people of Seattle, I stock up on my
homemade Emerald City Salad. For not only does it look beautiful and taste
amazing, but it also is like a whole foods multi-vitamin. It is immune
boosting, revitalizing, and energy giving “amazingness”.
Traditionally, the Emerald
City Salad, is not made with delicata squash, nor does it contain red onions,
however, these are my favorite additions to the salad. The great thing is that
the salad is very adaptable, allowing the home cook to make changes as they
please. So feel free to use this recipe as is, or add your signature touch.
Feta? Dried fruit? Nuts or seeds? Whatever. I just hope you make this salad,
and love it as much as I do. Here
is just a little bit of information about the main ingredients in this wonderful salad.
Wild Rice: Surprisingly
wild rice is not a rice at all, but rather a grass that thrives in the wetlands
of North America. However, it is very similar when compared to the properties
of brown rice, making it another great grain alternative for those seeking low-allergen,
gluten-free options. With higher amounts of protein than either brown or white
rice, wild rice at 3.3 g per ½ cup cooked is a great addition to a plant based
diet (1). Furthermore, it happens to be lower in carbohydrates, with 25 less
calories per ½ cup cooked than brown rice, giving it a higher protein to
carbohydrate ratio than the other rice options (1). When cooked and then
cooled, the starch found in rice forms a resistant starch, which is a
beneficial dietary fiber known to increase satiety, and help stabilize blood
sugar levels (1). Finally, wild rice is also a good source of phytonutrients
called anthocyanins, a potent group of antioxidants that contribute to the dark
chard is related to spinach and beets, it is not as commonly thought of as a
green leafy powerhouse. However, surprisingly nutrient dense, and calorically
light, chard is a great way to increase vitamins and minerals into your diet.
Chard contains excellent sources of nutrients that support our innate
antioxidant system including vitamins A, C, and E and minerals manganese, and
zinc, which help prevent oxidative stress in our bodies (2). A chronic
imbalance of too much oxidation within the body can be a trigger for many
disease states. As with beets, chard is also rich in betalains, phytonutrients
that help support phase II detoxification, aiding in the excretion of
accumulated toxins (2). Also, in addition to the wild rice, chard is a good
source of fiber and plant protein, offering 3.5g of each respectively (2).
Emerald City Salad –
Adapted from PCC’s Famous Salad
The Emerald City Salad
has built a reputation in the Seattle region. It is so delicious that this
salad alone will make a satisfying lunch. However, in the spirit of fall, I
decided to make a few changes, adding some red onion and roasted delicata squash,
in place of the red cabbage. It is easily adaptable to personal preferences.
Makes 6 servings
1 cup wild rice
2 ¼ cups filtered water
1 teaspoon salt, divided in half
1 delicata squash
1 tablespoon olive oil or coconut oil
Juice of 2 lemons (should be about a ¼ cup)
Zest of 1 lemon
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, finely minced
Freshly ground black pepper
1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
1/3 cup finely diced red onion
1 small red bell pepper, finely diced
½ cup Italian parsley, chopped
6-8 leaves chard, cut into chiffonade strips
Hemp Seeds (for garnish)
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Bring water to a boil, add the rice, and ½ teaspoon salt.
Cover and bring to boil. Once at a boil reduce heat to a simmer, keep covered,
and cook until tender about 50-60 minutes. Once tender, drain any excess fluid
and set aside to rest.
3. Meanwhile cut the delicata squash in half lengthwise,
scrape out the seeds, and then cut each half into half again. Slice each quarter
into ¼ of an inch thick slices. Toss slices with 1 tablespoon oil, and place
onto a parchment lined baking sheet, making sure not to overlap pieces. Roast
until brown and crispy, about 20-30 minutes. Allow to cool.
4. While the delicata is roasting, make the salad dressing
by adding the lemon juice, zest, olive oil, minced garlic clove, remaining ½
teaspoon sea salt, and fresh ground pepper into a large bowl. Whisk together.
5. Toss in the fennel and red onion, and stir well to coat.
Allow to marinate. Meanwhile, toss in the red bell pepper, the Italian parsley,
and the chard on top without stirring.
6. Top the salad with rice and allow to rest 5 minutes, to
slightly wilt the chard. Toss well. Add additional lemon juice if desired.
7. Fold under the roasted and cooled delicata squash.
8. Garnish with a sprinkle of hemp seeds and serve with
fresh bread for a complete meal (I used
my Power Bread).