Wild Rice Dried Cranberry Salad with Clementine Vinaigrette

Day 119: The Minnesota Table

April 29, 2011

So I live .2 miles from Minnesota and what is a great stable that is grown in Minnesota, why wild rice of course. My favorite way to eat wild rice is in a soup or as a side to Thanksgiving with slivered almonds and mushrooms in it. But every once in a while I find it in the form of a cold salad and I am surprised at how good it tastes. A little nutty and a little bit of a bite to it and then you mix in some sweet and savory combinations and you have a great side dish.

If you live in Minnesota or are a fan of the state, this is a lovely cookbook that takes you through the seasons of the state along with the food that is in its prime season. April you will find Asparagus and August will find tips to oven roast tomatoes. Whenever you can prepare food that is in season for your family, remember you can save some money. Buying local also saves on gas prices and helps support the local economy. Find a local CSA where you will be sure to be filled with an abundance of produce all season long.

The Ruling: I have a confession to make, I forgot about the rice. So instead of it being nutty and a little bit hard, it was more on the soft side. Like really soft. Truth be told however my mom really liked it. I was just ok with it, but I know if I would have prepared it right, I would have loved it. I will try making this again in the upcoming months. If you have to make a salad for a group gathering, this would be a fun one to bring. I think my cousin has brought this to a few family gatherings and when she made it….it tasted great!

Wild Rice Dried Cranberry Salad with Clementine Vinaigrette, page 80

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw (3-4 c. cooked) wild rice, washed and prepared according to basic cooking instructions
  • 1 c. long-grain white or brown rice (2c. cooked)
  • 3/4 c. unsalted toasted, hulled, hazelnuts, pecans, or hickory nuts
  • 3-4 Clementines, peeled, sectioned, and seeded (tangerines, tangelos, or navel oranges can be substituted)
  • 1 c. dried cranberries
  • 2 bunches small scallions, cleaned and thinly sliced at an angle
  • coarse salt, to taste
  • pinch of dried red pepper flakes, or freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

  1. A day before, wash wild rice in cold water, and cook according to directions.
  2. Cook long-grain or brown rice in a separate pot. Use 2 c. lightly salted water for every 1 cu. uncooked rice. Bring water to a boil and add salt and rice. Bring back to a boil, lower heat to simmer, and stir to loosen rice grains stuck on the bottom of the pan, Simmer, covered, until the rice has absorbed most of the water, about 15-20 minutes; the surface should be marked by little steam holes. Brown rice needs a bit more water and will take a little longer than white.
  3. Remove rice from the heat and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Toss cooked rice with a little canola oil to keep the grains separate. Cover with plastic wrap, leaving a small opening to vent any steam, and refrigerate.
  4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees, placing a rack in the center. Spread hazelnuts evenly over the surface of a sided sheet pan. Place in oven for a few minutes, or until the nuts begin to color. Shake pan to redistribute the hazelnuts, return to oven and continue browning. To remove husks, wrap hot, roasted nuts in a cotton dishtowel and rub. If not using immediately, let the hazelnuts cool to room temperature, store in a tightly covered dry container (tin or glass), and set aside. This step can be done a day ahead too. To keep their crunch, the nuts are the last ingredient incorporated into the salad.
  5. Peel, section, and seed Clementines and place in large mixing bowl. Add the cranberries, green onions, and chilled, cooked rice. Dress with Clementine Vinaigrette, and toss several times to mix well.

Clementine Vinaigrette

Ingredients:

  • Fine zest of one Clementine
  • 1/2 c. freshly squeezed Clementine juice
  • 2-3 tbsp. white wine or champagne vinegar
  • coarse salt, to taste
  • pinch of dried red pepper flakes, or freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 scant c. canola oil, plus 1 tbsp. hazelnut oil if available

Directions:

  1. Combine zest, juice, vinegar, salt, and pepper flakes or pepper in a blender, a metal bowl with a whisk, or a glass jar that has a tight-fitting lid. Blend (or whisk or shake) until well mixed. Add oils in a steady stream. Blend or whisk again until very thick. Taste and adjust seasonings. If it is too vinegary, add cold water to cut the acidity. If it is too vinegary, add cold water to cut the acidity. If not using immediately, cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before dressing the salad.

To Joyful, Simplified Living,

MS. Simplicity

MS. Simplicity, also known as Melissa Schmalenberger  operates her business as I Did it with MS. Simplicity.  She is a Professional Organizer based out of Fargo, ND and her website can be found at www.ididit-fargo.com .  Need to contact MS. Simplicity privately, you can email her at melissa@ididit-fargo.com.  For daily organizing tips find the MS. Simplicity fan page  here.

If you try any of my suggestions, I would love to hear from you.  It helps me to understand what my readers want me to write about and what they think is a waste of their time….thanks for taking the time to help me out.

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1 Comment

Filed under Salads, Side Dishes, Vegetarian

One response to “Wild Rice Dried Cranberry Salad with Clementine Vinaigrette

  1. Pingback: Week In Review: April 23, 2011 | 365clevercookbooks

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