Wild Rice Salad and a Pilgrimage

November 20th, 2010

Salads at Thanksgiving are sometimes overlooked.  A tossed green salad seems like an afterthought when you are serving such hearty dishes as mashed potatoes, dressing, green bean casserole, and turkey and gravy.  But this salad is a little different.  It is substantial with ebony colored wild rice and  is full of fruit like bright navel oranges,  pale green grapes and dried red cranberries.  The light dressing of olive oil, raspberry vinegar and orange juice adds just the right refreshing tang.  But the main reason to love this salad is that it goes so well with the other components of the Thanksgiving table.  Wild rice has always been associated with game, game hens and turkey.  It is an earthy and usexpected addition to the usual line-up of dishes.

The recipe is adapted from Ina Garten’s new cookbook, How Easy Is That?  It is similar to one that I have been making for years.  The main difference is the use of raspberry vinegar.  It is worth using in this salad and you will have it to dress any salad in which you incorporate fruit.

WILD RICE SALAD

1 box of long-grain wild rice (6 ounces)
3 cups water
1/2 tsp salt
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons raspberry vinegar
2 tablespoons orange juice
2 naval oranges, peeled and sliced into segments
1/2 cup seedless green grapes, cut in half
1/2 cup toasted pecan pieces
1/4 cup dried cranberries
2 tablespoons green onion, chopped

Bring the 3 cups of water, the salt, and the butter to a boil in a medium saucepan.  Add the wild rice and stir to combine.  Reduce the head to medium-low and simmer covered until the rice is tender (about 50 to 60 minutes).  Drain off the excess water.  Return the rice to the saucepan and cover.  Let sit for about 10 minutes.  Transfer the rice to a mixing bowl.  Combine the dressing ingredients and pour over the rice.  Mix well.  Add the remainder of the ingredients and toss to combine.  Transfer mixture to a serving dish and serve at room temperature.

I have been enjoying cooking up all of these Thanksgiving dishes because we will not be home for Thanksgiving this year and I will not be cooking.  We are going to the Washington DC area to spend time with family.  I will be going on a pilgrimage while there.  Since the last time I was in DC the Smithsonian has added a new exhibit that I want to see.

I am going to see Julia Child’s kitchen.  I am so excited.  I promise not to sneak in a stick of butter, but I will report back with pictures of my own.

Speaking of kitchens, I would still like more of you to participate in my Kitchen Reveal on December 1st.  Just leave a comment on my previous post and let me know that you are interested in posting pictures of your kitchen on that date.

Printable recipe

11 responses to “Wild Rice Salad and a Pilgrimage”

  1. Donnie says:

    That recipe sounds really good. Wish Don would eat rice. I’d love to join your kitchen reveal but mine looks like Julia Child’s kitchen without all the pots and pans. That is one thing I would love to see at the Smithsonian too. Looking forward to your pictures.

  2. Big Dude says:

    I’ve never had anything like this, but it sure sounds good. Have a good trip North.

  3. Susan says:

    You are going to see Julia’s kitchen? How great is that!!! Go ahead…leave some butter… 😉 We were in northern Minnesota for a wedding this summer and “I got me some wild rice.” Woo Hoo Nice salad. Love wild rice anything.

  4. I love the bite that wild rice has and the nutty flavoyrs. This salad is perfect for the holidays. Please do let us all know about Julia Child’s kitchen.

  5. I would LOVE to see Julia’s kitchen!! And your dish sounds perfect for Thanksgiving. I hope to have a great time and a wonderful holiday!

    XO,
    Jane

  6. Pondside says:

    That recipe sounds like one that would be good the next day too – my favorite part of any holiday dinner is the leftover meal!

  7. marcia smith says:

    Can’t believe you are coming to DC and I am in Seattle!!! Just had grandson #2 – have fun in DC and when you are on E Street in the Penn Quarter think of me!!! Hope you eat at some great restaurants and try and catch the Norman Rockwell exhibit at the Smithsonian American Art Museum-
    http://americanart.si.edu/exhibitions/archive/2010/rockwell/

  8. Rita says:

    Thatmust be a thrill to visit Julia’s kitchen; wow.I have never cooked wild rice,but your salad is really tempting me to buy some.
    Wishing you a wonderful fun pilgrimage.
    Rita

  9. katiez says:

    Great salad – and have fun in D.C. We had an office there (in another life) and I loved spending time in the Smithsonian…. Lots and lots of time. Maybe, someday, I’ll get back.

  10. As I recall, I missed the reveal last year. Right now I am socking money for a big makeover in a couple of years.

    Meanwhile, what a tasty salad!

    Have fun in DC and enjoy the pilgrimage.

  11. Barbara says:

    Wild rice is a family favorite. I’ve made one salad with it, but it didn’t have nearly the wonderful flavors of yours!

    I’m so jealous you’re going to see Julia’s kitchen!

    (And yes, I AM going to post my kitchen on December 1st!)

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