Wanted to prepare a wild rice salad for New Years and could not decide which of the many already posted to choose. After a little tinkering in the kitchen, I came up with my own which combined the favorite elements from all the others. The wonderful colors from the spinach and cranberries give this a festive feel. Part of what gives this salad a nice dimension is the orange juice used in cooking the wild rice. There are lots of pieces to assembling the dish but the work can be done in stages. Moreover, it can be prepared a day in advance, tossing in the dressing just before service. For a vegan option, you might try replacing the honey with barley malt or rice syrup.
- 1 cup wild rice
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1⁄2 cup dried cranberries
- 1⁄2 cup pecans
- 3 cups Baby Spinach
- 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons orange juice, fresh squeezed
- 1 tablespoon honey (if you like sweet, add an extra teaspoon)
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1⁄8 teaspoon onion powder
- 1⁄2 teaspoon Dijon mustard (more to aid emulsification than to add flavor) or 1⁄2 teaspoon brown mustard (more to aid emulsification than to add flavor)
- 1 dash garlic powder, to taste
- 1 dash cayenne, to taste
- Consult the packaging on your wild rice for actual cooking directions, following the ratio of 2 parts water to 1 part orange juice. These directions match my rice. Add water and juice to a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil. Add wild rice and let it return to a boil. Lower to just simmering and cover. Cook 60 minutes. Check at about 45 minutes and if the mix seems a little dry add a bit more water.
- Toast the pecans on an ungreased cookie sheet for 5-7 minutes in the oven at 375 degrees. Allow to cool and give them a coarse chop.
- Rinse and clean the baby spinach, removing stems. Cut into ribbons about 1/2 inch thick.
- Once the rice is cooked allow it to cool a bit, about 20 minutes. You want it to lightly wilt the spinach but not actually cook it.
- Mix the spinach, cranberies, and pecans into the wild rice. If youa re serving that day, you can store on the counter. Otherwise, place in fridge until ready to serve.
- To prepare the dressing, whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl.
- A half hour before serving, toss the salad and dressing together. Let stand so that the flavors can meld together.
Very nice salad! I don't use much wild rice but found this very satisfying! I did increase the amount of cranberries & also used Dijon honey mustard! Thanks much for this keeper! [Tagged, made & reviewed in Please Review My Recipe cooking game]
Wonderful recipe! The dressing is incredible--I'm thinking about trying it on regular salads. I think I'll try it without the spinach next time. I might also try making it sweeter by throwing in some golden raisins, or substituting toasted hazelnuts for the pecans. This recipe will be a great base from which to experiment. Thanks for the great recipe!
I really liked this but I think it could use a little more dressing. There seemed to be a lot of salad to dressing ratio. The dressing is delicious, so next time I double it and use any excess on a green salad if necessary, although I could eat the dressing by the spoonful!