Wild Rice and Cranberry Salad

James Carrier
This wild rice cranberry salad is a festive holiday side dish and best made several hours (or up to 1 day) in advance. Allow the salad to come to room temperature and garnish just before serving.

Yield:

Makes 4 to 6 servings

Recipe from

Nutritional Information

Calories 338
Caloriesfromfat 45 %
Protein 6.3 g
Fat 17 g
Satfat 1.5 g
Carbohydrate 45 g
Fiber 3.9 g
Sodium 586 mg
Cholesterol 0.0 mg

Ingredients

1 cup wild rice
1 tablespoon salt
3/4 cup cup walnuts
8 ounces (2 cups) fresh or thawed frozen cranberries
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons walnut or vegetable oil
1 tablespoon raspberry or rice vinegar
3 green onions, rinsed and chopped (including green tops)
1/2 cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped (optional)

Preparation

1. In a 4- to 6-quart pan, combine wild rice, salt, and 1 quart water. Bring to a boil over high heat; cover, reduce heat, and simmer until rice is tender to bite and most grains have just split open, 45 to 60 minutes. Drain in a colander and let cool.

2. Meanwhile, spread walnuts in a baking pan and toast in a 325° regular or convection oven until lightly golden under skins, about 10 minutes. Coarsely chop. Sort cranberries, discarding any stems and bruised or decayed fruit; cut each cranberry in half (see notes).

3. In a 2- to 3-quart pan over medium-high heat, stir the sugar and 1/2 cup water until the sugar is dissolved and mixture boils. Remove from heat; stir in the halved cranberries. Gently stir occasionally until insides of cranberries have turned red but are still firm, 8 to 12 minutes (see notes). Pour through a fine strainer into a bowl, reserving the cranberry-sugar syrup.

4. In a large bowl, gently mix wild rice, cranberry halves, oil, and vinegar. Stir in 2 tablespoons cranberry syrup; taste and add up to 1/4 cup more syrup to sweeten and moisten salad as desired (reserve remaining syrup for other uses). Cover and chill for at least 4 hours or up to 1 day (see notes).

5. Stir in all but 2 tablespoons of the green onions, along with the walnuts and dried cranberries (if using). Sprinkle with remaining green onions just before serving.

Note:

Cutting the cranberries in half (step 2) is time-consuming, but it makes a big difference in the texture of the finished salad. The cranberries may be steeped in sugar syrup (step 3) up to 1 day ahead; cover and chill in syrup (cranberries' color will deepen).

November 2003