Zucchini flower, wild rice, lentil and yoghurt salad

Karen Martini's zucchini flower, wild rice, lentil and yoghurt salad.
Karen Martini's zucchini flower, wild rice, lentil and yoghurt salad. Photo: Marcel Aucar

This fresh and filling salad is perfect for dinner with grilled koftas, baked fish or a simple roast chicken and is great the next day for a no-fuss lunch at home or work.


120g green lentils

150g black wild rice

2 tsp cumin seeds

oil for shallow frying

6 zucchini flowers with zucchini attached

1 clove garlic, finely grated

salt flakes

freshly ground black pepper

extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 lemon, juiced

150g thick plain yoghurt

1 handful mint leaves

2 spring onions, finely sliced

1 handful picked dill


1. Add the lentils to cold water. Simmer for 12 minutes or until tender (cooking time will vary depending on the lentils, so watch them). Add 100 grams of the wild rice and the cumin seeds to a separate pot of simmering water and cook for 20 minutes or until just tender, then drain.

2. While the lentils and rice cook, heat three centimetres of oil in a small pot until very hot, about 200C, and fry the remaining 50 grams of wild rice in batches until it puffs up. (You can test that the oil is hot enough by checking that a grain of rice will puff up.) Drain on paper towels and set aside for garnish. You could skip this step and use pumpkin seeds (not fried) to garnish instead.

3. Detach the blossoms from the zucchinis, split the flowers in half (or quarters if they are large) and remove the stamen. Slice the zucchini thinly in rounds on a mandolin.

4. Put the zucchini and garlic into a large bowl, season with salt and pepper and add a splash of oil. Add the cooked wild rice and toss through. Add the flowers and lemon juice and toss again.

5. In another bowl, mix the lentils, yoghurt, mint, spring onions, most of the dill and a dash of oil and season.

6. Spread the lentil mix on a plate, top with the wild rice mix, scatter over the puffed wild rice or pumpkin seeds and remaining dill and serve.

Drink: Chardonnay