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.