We are moving in a week, so the next month will be a little chaotic for me and the blog. This will be the last recipe blog for a few weeks until I get the kitchen unpacked and back up and running in the temporary kitchen (major remodel needed) at the new house. I plan on blogging on various health and nutrition subjects, so please let me know if there is anything in particular you might be interested in learning more about and I will see what I can do!
That being said, our current kitchen is a bit sparse right now and most of my pans and small appliances are packed. I decided a nice summer salad would be the perfect recipe for this week. Most people don't cook with wild rice. I'm not sure why because I love it. It is slightly chewy and has a wonderful nutty flavor. And I think it's actually easier to cook and perfect than white or brown rice because you don't have to worry about getting the rice to water ratio just right.
So why bother cooking with wild rice? Wild rice is high in protein—it's actually considered a complete protein in that it has all your essential amino acids. It is also a great source of fiber, iron, copper and antioxidants. The beauty of wild rice—and the reason it is expensive—is that it is harvested by hand or combines in the United States. It isn't mass produced like what we are used to with our other grains. Unlike other rices, it keeps it outer sheath, which is where most of its health benefits come from.
This wild rice recipe is based loosely on a salad I used to order from a deli in Guilford, Connecticut. I loved it so much that I wrote to Bon Appetit magazine and asked them to get the recipe for me—which they did. It had chicken, raisins, and a bunch of other ingredients in it; however from it this recipe was born. My wild rice salad with dried cherries and fresh dill is light and refreshing, but hardy enough to make it a meal by adding some Beyond Meat "chicken" strips in it or cubed (pressed and fried or baked) tofu.
Now that you understand why you should be cooking wild rice, let's get to it! This recipe is easy-peasy! Get started by bringing your wild rice to a boil. Reduce and simmer 45 minutes until the rice starts to open up from its outer sheath. Rinse with cold water, strain and drain well and place in a large bowl.
While the rice is cooking, start chopping up your veggies and add to your big bowl.
Chop up your dill, the raw pecans and your unsweetened dried cherries and add them as well.
In a small bowl, whisk together all your dressing ingredients. I like to whisk for about 20 seconds until I can see it start to emulsify and thicken. This dressing would be lovely on a regular salad or even on a quinoa or pasta salad.
Pour the dressing over the rice salad mixture, stir with a big wooden spoon and you are done. I like mine a little cold, but it is equally delicious at room temperature.
Eat on its own as a main course meal or use as a side dish. Take this to a summer potluck and watch it disappear. People will rave about this chewy, nutty, long grain and love that it is dressed up with crunchy veggies, sweet cherries and fresh dill. I hope you enjoy it too!
Time: 1 hour
1 1/2 c. uncooked wild rice + 6 c. water
1 c. chopped carrots
3/4 c. chopped celery
1/3 c. chopped unsweetened dried cherries
1/3 c. chopped raw pecans
4 spring onions (white and green parts), chopped
1 tbsp. minced fresh dill
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tbsp. dijon mustard
1 tbsp. champagne vinegar
1/4 c. fresh orange juice
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. course black pepper
Bring wild rice and water to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 45 minutes until most of the rice starts to open. Rinse immediately with cold water and strain well.
In a large bowl, combine all the salad ingredients.
In a small bowl, whisk together all the dressing ingredients until the mixture emulsifies.
Pour dressing over salad and use a wooden spoon to combine.
Refrigerate for 1 hour or serve at room temperature.