Wild rice is a group of grasses that grow in shallow water in small lakes and slow-flowing streams; and often, only the flowering head of wild rice rises above the water. Wild rice is native to North America and is harvested as a grain. Wild rice has less calories, fat, carbohydrates and higher protein levels than brown rice. Sounds good to me!
While flipping through pages of Nigella Lawson's Feast, I couldn't help but take notice of her recipe for North American Salad. This recipe immediately stood out to me based solely on the beauty of the dish. A background of gorgeous black wild rice, with jewel-toned cranberries, flecks of vibrant green parsley, and chunks of golden pecans running throughout. This was the perfect recipe in celebration of great grains at I Heart Cooking Clubs.
Nigella says "Since this salad was made up by me in my kitchen in London, there is an argument that says it isn't remotely American, North or otherwise. But it seemed to me that a salad comprising turkey, wild rice, cranberries and pecans couldn't really go under any other name".
North American Salad
Adapted from Feast by Nigella Lawson
Serves 6-8, recipe can be halved
3 cups wild rice
1/2 cup dried sliced cranberries
4 cups diced cold turkey (I omitted the turkey this time around)
2 tablespoons cranberry sauce or jelly
2 tablespoons lime juice (I used lemon)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup halved pecans or pecan pieces (I recommend toasting the pecans)
1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
Cook the rice according to the package instructions, rinse and leave to cool. Add the dried cranberries and turkey to the cold, cooked rice. Make a dressing with the cranberry jelly, lime juice and oil by whisking everything together in a bowl. Toss the dressing through the rice, cranberries and turkey. Snap the pecans in half (or if using pieces leave as they are) and add to the salad with most of the parsley, turn out on to a plate or serving dish and sprinkle with the remaining parsley.
NOTE: Reserve the pecans until ready to serve so that they remain crunchy.
Notes/Results: This was a very fun salad to make and it was also my first time cooking wild rice. This is an easy recipe, but takes some time to cook since the wild rice takes about 60 minutes on it's own. I thought this was a truly stunning salad that would be delicious with the diced turkey or on it's own. I also loved the flavors and textures in this recipe. The wild rice has quite a bite to it and goes well with the sweetness of the dried cranberries. Toasting and salting the pecans turned out to be a great and crunchy addition to this salad. I really loved this salad and enjoyed it even more knowing that it was good for me at the same time!
Head on over to I Heart Cooking Clubs to see what everyone is cooking up in celebration of Great Grains!