Salad Days :: Wild Rice, Baby!

If you are feeling like you need to steer yourself away from the heavy/starchy foods of December, like me, then here’s a great recipe for you. It’s light. It’s bouncy and lively while still being wintery. It’s snowing outside my window and I’m thinking that this needs to be lunch tomorrow. You in?

WILD RICE SALAD

adapted from epicurious.com

1 lb wild rice

For vinaigrette
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons chopped shallot
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 cup long-grain white rice
1 1/2 cups water
2 cups chopped walnuts, toasted
1 1/4 cups chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
3/4 cup dried apricots, thinly sliced
3/4 cup dried cranberries

1. Rinse wild rice in a sieve under cold water, then combine with cold water to cover by 2 inches in a 5-quart pot. Simmer, covered, until tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour.

2. Make vinaigrette while wild rice is simmering:
Whisk together juice, shallot, vinegar, mustard, and garlic. Gradually whisk in oil until emulsified and season with salt and pepper.

3. Cook white rice
After wild rice has been simmering 20 minutes, boil white rice and 1 1/2 cups water in a 1 1/2-quart heavy saucepan, uncovered and undisturbed, until steam holes appear on surface, about 8 minutes. Reduce heat to very low and cook, covered and undisturbed, 15 minutes more. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, 5 minutes.

4. Assemble salad:
Rinse cooked wild rice in a sieve under cold water and drain.