A salad of wild rice, dried cherries, and pecans tossed in a raspberry vinaigrette. It makes a great side dish or lunch.
Wild rice reminds me of Minnesota and when I think of Minnesota I think of family. My husband is from Minnesota and we lived there for a few years. Much of his family is still in Minnesota and one of my favorite places to go (besides the cities) is Lengby. Lengby is up north between Bemidji and Fargo and my husband's cousin (P) has a cabin on a lake up there. We would visit as often as possible to fish, hang out, and just get out of the cities. It's so relaxing up there and P is laid back and so much fun to be around.
Wild rice reminds me of Minnesota. [Tweet this]
|Wild rice growing in the Mississippi river|
Not far from Lengby are the head waters of the Mississippi River. Being from North Carolina I always thought of the Mississippi being this huge, massive, river. I thought it was so cool to be able to step over the Mississippi where it was barely a creek. The head waters are also a great place to canoe. One summer I talked my husband into taking a 2 day canoe trip. We had grand plans of going really far but that summer the river was kind of low and not easy to get down. We still went a pretty good ways, camped overnight and made great memories. The thing I remember most is where we put in and how much wild rice was clogging the river. It didn't even look like a river, more of a swampy grassland and we had trouble figuring out which way to go at first. I had never seen wild rice growing like that before and now when I think about MN I think about wild rice. So on my husband's most recent trip to Minnesota I asked him to get some wild rice (it's much easier to find in stores, and cheaper, there). This is the first recipe I made with the wild rice he brought home.
Made with Minnesota wild rice. [Tweet this]
Wild Rice Cherry Pecan Salad
1 cup dry wild rice
1/2 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup toasted pecans, chopped
1/4 cup chopped green onions
*Raspberry Vinaigrette: mix 1 tbsp raspberry jam with 2 tsp balsamic vinegar until smooth. Rapidly whisk in 2 Tbsp olive oil until emulsified (alternatively put all ingredients in a jar and shake). You can make more vinaigrette just keep the proportion of oil to vinegar 3:1 and adjust the raspberry jam to your liking.
Rinse the wild rice under cool water in a fine mesh strainer. Place rinsed rice in a large sauce pan and cover with about 4 cups of water and a pinch of salt (or you can use broth). Bring water to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour until rice is tender. Drain rice and allow to cool.
In a large bowl toss and mix the cooled rice with the cherries, pecans, and onions (finely minced shallot would be delicious as well). Lastly stir in the vinaigrette a little at a time until dressed to your liking.
Refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve cold or at room temperature. Makes 4-6 servings.
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