Monday, April 16, 2012

Wonderful Wild Rice

Wild rice is dear, so when I prepare it, I want the results to be wonderful. This rice salad combines wild rice and long-grain brown rice, then adds cucumber, sweet red pepper, herbs, almonds and dates; it is complex sweet and savory. It is an investment in time, so this recipe makes a big batch, enough for 8 or for a week of lunches or great side-dishes. Guests love this salad and it never fails to get rave reviews. I love the brightness of the citrus dressing, the chewiness of the rice, the crunch of the almonds and veggies and the aromatic herbs. Use your nicest olive oil here, as the flavor comes through. Enjoy!

Sweet and Savory Wild Rice Salad
serves 8 to 10

1 1/2 cups wild rice, rinsed and drained
1 cup long-grain brown rice, rinsed and drained (I use Basmati)
1 lime, zested and juiced
1 orange, zested and juiced
Small handful fresh dill, finely chopped
Small handful fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
1 English or 2 Persian cucumbers peeled and diced
1 red bell pepper, cleaned and diced
1/2 cup dried dates, chopped
1/2 cup sliced almonds (I toast mine for more crunch)
1/2 cup quality extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp powdered cumin
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cook the rice: For the wild rice, heat 4 1/2 cups of salted water to boiling, add the rice, cover and cook on low heat for about 45 minutes or until the grains are tender and puffed, drain and pour into a large bowl. Cook the brown rice; heat two cups of salted water to boiling, add the rice, cover and cook on low heat for 40 minutes. Let stand for five minutes, the fluff with a fork and toss together with wild rice, set aside to cool a bit.

Stir gently into the rice: lime and orange zest (not the juice!) the herbs, cucumber, red peppers, dates and almonds.

In a small bowl, whisk lime and orange juice to combine, then whisk in the olive oil in a slow steady stream. Toss with the rice, then stir in the cumin powder (I sprinkle half the cumin, stir, and then add the rest to distribute evenly). Add salt and pepper to taste. 

I love the "confetti" colors of this salad. You could substitute radishes, cabbage or any number of veggies you have in house. Bon Appetit!



Susan Struck said...

Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to be a good cook...

Victoria said...

I'll bet your family would rally in protest at this comment ;)

Maria Rose said...

Oh this looks so good!

Victoria said...

If you like/approve of the ingredients I will make this for you!!

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