When I made the Mushroom and Wild Rice Casserole I wasn’t thinking straight! The recipe called for about 2 cups of cooked wild rice but I didn’t account for the fact that rice nearly triples its size when cooked. I ended up with quite a bit of extra cooked wild rice in my fridge. Not a problem, though, because I LOVE WILD RICE!
Until Kelly mentioned it, I had no idea that Wild Rice is a “Minnesota thing.” When I served this salad to my family, my brother-in-law, who is also from Minnesota, was quite vocal about how much he loved this salad! He had no idea about my infatuation with wild rice and said if he had known, he would have asked his dad to bring some out with him this weekend. Unfortunately, his dad had already departed Minnesota so I won’t be tasting any authentic Minnesota wild rice any time soon! Next time Ed! 🙂
In my opinion, the quality that makes this salad so great is the texture. There is quite a bit of satisfying crunch.
Remember to chop each component to uniform size so that each bite includes a little bit of each ingredient. You don’t want one bite to contain nothing but a giant chunk of celery and the next bite to contain a giant piece of green onion. (I talk more about the importance of chopping uniformly here.)
Each bite should contain a little bit of everything. Doing so allows for each bite to be a little dance party in your mouth! The peas pop, the pine nuts snap, the celery crunches (and so on) and they are all united by the chewy grains of wild rice. Oh the fun! 🙂
Wild Rice Salad:
- 2-3 cups cooked wild rice
- 3/4 cup dried cranberries
- 4 stalks celery, finely chopped
- 4-6 green onions (scallions), finely chopped
- 1 cup frozen peas*
- 1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
- salt and pepper
- 1/4 -1/2 cup olive oil
- 2-4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1-2 teaspoons sugar
In a medium bowl combine rice, dried cranberries, celery, green onions, frozen peas, and pine nuts. Use a wooden spoon to gently combine.
In a small bowl whisk together olive oil, vinegar, sugar and salt and pepper. Pour over salad and toss gently to evenly distribute dressing. Season with additional salt and pepper as needed.
*If you plan to serve this dish immediately, use thawed peas. If you are storing overnight in the fridge, frozen peas will defrost by the time you serve.