MN Wild Rice Salad
by Christina Meyer-Jax, Tastemaker in Residence
1 cup wild rice, rinsed
½ cup sliced almonds
4 cups arugula
½ cup coarsely chopped fresh basil
½ cup dried sour cherries or cranberries, chopped
¼ cup chopped green onions
⅓ cup crumbled feta
1 cup grilled chicken (cubed) or grilled salmon fillet
¼ cup olive oil
2 Tbsp lemon juice (about 1 medium lemon, juiced)
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp maple syrup
1 medium clove garlic, pressed or crushed
¼ tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Cook wild rice by bringing a large pot of water to boil. Add the rinsed rice and continue boiling, reducing heat as necessary to prevent overflow, for 40 minutes to 55 minutes, until the rice is pleasantly tender but still offers a light resistance to the bite.
- Remove from heat, drain the rice and return the rice to pot. Cover and let the rice rest for 10 minutes, then remove the lid and let the rice cool.
- Toast almonds by warming one teaspoon olive oil in a small skillet over medium-low heat. Add the almonds and a pinch of salt and cook until they’re turning lightly golden and fragrant, about 4 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Set aside to cool.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients until well blended.
- Assemble salad by transferring the cooled rice to a large bowl. Add the arugula, chopped basil, almonds, sour cherries, feta, green onions, and grilled chicken or salmon.
- Pour in the dressing, toss well and season to taste with additional salt and pepper (be sure to add enough salt so that the flavors really sing!). Set the salad aside for 10-20 minutes before serving, to give the rice time to soak up some of the dressing.