Wild Rice Salad

A slight adaptation of a recipe featured in one of my favorite restaurants-  The Birchwood Cafe- this is an amazing dish for the holiday season.  It is a welcome addition to any holiday brunch, and provides a lovely counterpart to the heavy foods normally associated with winter (RE: Dairy).  It also does a fantastic job utilizing leftovers commonly associated with big dinners, so you can limit your runs to the grocery store and instead find more time for sledding.

I made this video for the American Birkebeiner Foundation, the group running the largest ski race in North America.  They asked me to feature some easy winter recipes that will help fuel skiers to and through the big day (Christmas, New Years, Valentines…but most importantly Birkie Day).  So be sure and check back for some more recipes in the coming months!

Licking-Lips Worthy!

“Birkie Fever” Wild Rice Salad

serves 4-6

The Stuff

1/2 cup uncooked wild rice (or if you are using leftovers like I was, 1.5 cups cooked)

1/2 cup finely sliced fennel

2 stalks celery, sliced down the middle and then cut into small pieces

1/4 cup finely diced sweet onion

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds (any kind of nut would work beautifully here- if using pecans, walnuts, or almonds be sure and chop finely)

1/2 cup dried cherries (cranberries would also work!)

12-16 ounces cooked turkey, diced (any leftover meat would work here)

(for the dressing)

1/2 cup good quality olive oil

1/4 cup white wine vinegar

1/4 cup orange juice

2 tablespoons honey

1 clove garlic

1/2 small shallot

1 teaspoon coriander

A little ginger if desired (very welcome in this dish)

Salt and pepper to taste

The How

  1.  If your wild rice is not cooked, do that well before you want to eat the dish (you want it completely cooled).  Combine rice and 3 cups of water in a small pot, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 35-40 minutes.  Do a taste test when you near 35 minutes- you might not need all the water.  If you don’t use all the water, simply drain and let come to room temperature.
  2. Combine the remaining salad ingredients (everything before the dressing) in a large bowl.
  3. If you have a blender, pull it out now.  Add all the dressing ingredients, and blend on high speed for 20-30 seconds.  Taste for salt and pepper, add as desired, and blend for another 15 seconds.  If you don’t have a blender, mince your garlic and ginger and finely chop the shallot- then whisk away!
  4. Pour about 1/2 cup of dressing into the salad and give a good mix.  Add more dressing as desired.  Serve alone, atop a bed of greens, or with some hearty greens.  Satsuma orange slices are wonderful addition to the top of this dish!


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