Black Pearl Rice Salad with Spring Veggies, Herb Yogurt & Pixie Vinaigrette


A healthy, easy-to-prepare salad inspired by Santa Barbara Spring bounty! Serve with an optional yogurt sauce. Gluten-Free and Vegan adaptable. Approximately 4 servings


Our local farmers markets are full of gorgeous, crisp, colorful veggies! Here in Carpinteria, we are fortunate enough to have the wonderful Farm Cart, which is a heritage farm wagon full of organic produce from our local farms. It’s run by our dear friends, Jason and Katherine Lesh. Katherine’s family has been farming organically in Santa Barbara County since 1973, as Shepherd Farms. Now, they are raising their own children in the same way as they have their own small farm, where they raise chickens and use bio-dynamic farming practices. They also outsource fruits and vegetables making an abundant selection for the farm stand.


I love checking out what they have to offer weekly and am always inspired by the variety! This week I found some of my favorite Spring veggies and wanted to incorporate them into a salad that can be used as a beautiful side dish or even a main course! It can be served cold or ambient and is even delicious the next day.


This dish is very forgiving and welcomes any variety of veggies you have on hand! I chose radishes and sugar snap peas from Frecker Farms and asparagus from Ocean Mist Farm. I quickly blanched the snap peas and asparagus and kept the radishes raw since I like the crunch!


I wanted to make a sauce that allowed me to keep the presentation of the dish clean and bright so I decided to mix up a quick yogurt sauce (you could also use a dairy-free yogurt or hummus to make vegan). I minced fresh garlic, Italian parsley, fresh mint, and lemon zest and let it chill in the fridge for a few hours to infuse. I smeared this sauce on the bottom of the platter (or you could do each individual plate). In a bowl, toss the rice and veggies in the Pixie dressing and place on top of your sauce. I had Meyer lemons from a friend’s tree so I garnished with Meyer lemon zest and fresh mint!

The next day I had leftovers and added toasted almonds, shaved kale, and avocado for a hearty lunch. Delish!



2 cups cooked Lundberg black pearl rice (you could also use lentils or quinoa)

3 cups spring veggies of your choice

Yogurt Sauce:

1 cup plain greek yogurt (or substitute vegan yogurt or hummus)

2 teaspoons finely chopped lemon zest

1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh mint

1 teaspoon finely chopped Italian parsley

1-2 cloves minced garlic

salt and pepper to taste

Ojai Pixie Vinaigrette:

2 Ojai pixies - squeeze the juice (you could also use an orange or lemon)

1/2 minced shallot

1 clove minced garlic

1 tablespoon dijon mustard

1 teaspoon local avocado blossom honey

3 tablespoons champagne vinegar

1/2 cup olive oil (or avocado oil or grapeseed oil)

salt and pepper to taste

  • mix all ingredients together and slowly whisk in the oil to incorporate

By Alyssa Potter

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