Crunchy Fruit and Wild Rice Salad

Crunchy Fruit and Wild Rice Salad

I know it has been 4 days since I have done a post and I do apologize!  It has been a Woo hoo! Spring Fever! very hectic week here in Hotlanta!  Spring has definitely sprung along with copious amounts of pollen.  Thank goodness for the rain yesterday to wash away all that creepy yellowish-green funk that was all over our cars!  It’s funny how one day you fuss at the rain and the next day you are begging for it…just can’t seem to make anyone happy these days!

Anyway, it truly was a busy week for me. I spent many hours trying to get my house picked up (although it seems like the messy fairies come right back and trash it again!). I also attended my last photography class (which was kind of sad), went to a funeral (which was totally depressing), did a bit of test cooking and then let the rest of the week just get away from me!

Finally, and most importantly, after tests and doctor’s appointments this week, my husband was given a really nice report yesterday after dealing with cancer for the past 5 years! That is a really big deal for us, so we went out to dinner last night to celebrate!

So, about this wild rice salad…some friends and readers have asked specifically for some healthy and quick recipes, so I promised I would try to do that. I know I am not the poster child for low-cal or fast dishes, but I will make an attempt to do more of those since most of us are beginning to experience glorious weather and are not interested in being kitchen slaves! It is time to fire up that grill and get your man cooking outdoors.

My healthy dish contribution for the day would be this wild rice salad! This combines lots of my favorite ingredients and it is one of those awesome dishes that you can whip up ahead of time and toss in the fridge. It is best after everything has been infused with the vinaigrette, so I suggest that you make it early in the day and have it that night or leave it in the fridge overnight and serve it the next day. It is great for a party because you can let it sit at room temperature (although my personal preference is to serve it cold).

My hubby is not the biggest fan of this kind of salad/side dish. He likes his rice hot and not cold and certainly not mixed with a bunch of fruits and nuts! However, even the hubby liked my creation this time. He suggested adding the Granny Smith apple and it really did give the salad a little flavor boost with the sweet and tangy taste of the apple mixed in. What a culinary team we make! I think he is a real keeper!

I hope you enjoy the recipe and all the beautious weather that is coming your way this Spring (minus the nasty pollen)!

Crunchy Fruit and Wild Rice Salad

Serves 6


Ingredients:

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons sherry vinegar (a really nice one, otherwise it can be bitter)

2 teapoons honey

1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 cup wild rice, rinsed well

1 can low-sodium chicken broth (14 oz.) plus enough water to equal 4 cups liquid (I use Swanson’s low-sodium broth)

3/4 cup chopped celery

3 green onions sliced, white and green parts

3/4 cup dried cranberries

1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and chopped

1/2 cup sliced almonds


Directions:

Whisk together olive oil, sherry vinegar, honey, Kosher salt and pepper in a small bowl. Set aside.


Bring rice, chicken broth and water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Cover and turn down heat to a simmer. Cook rice for 45 minutes (if you want your rice a bit more tender, you can cook it another 5 minutes). Fluff the rice. Let sit for 5 minutes and then drain in a colander.


Carefully mix the sherry vinaigrette with the rice and all the remaining ingredients together in a large bowl. Taste for seasonings. I added a few pinches of sea salt and a few generous turns of fresh ground pepper.


Chill and let the flavors blend. It is best made ahead (either early in the day or the day before).