Wild Rice Cranberry-Apple Salad

The nutty flavor of wild rice combined with sweet cranberries and apples, salty cheese and tangy wine vinegar make this salad a dance of textures and flavors on the palate. The cheese in the recipe offers a firm bite to accompany the chewy texture of the rice, yet zesty crumbled blue cheese, gorgonzola or feta cheeses are delicious as well.  For a main dish salad, toss in cubed cooked chicken.

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Wild Rice Cranberry-Apple Salad
Makes 6-8 servings      Prep time 1 hr 5 minutes (rice included)

1 cup (6 oz) wild rice
2 cups water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup Holland House white wine vinegar
1/4 cup safflower or canola oil
1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large green apple, golden delicious or granny smith
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup finely diced red onion
2 ounces firm, full-flavored cheese, cut into small  cubes
  (Asiago, manchego or Parmigiano-Reggiano)
1/3 cup toasted chopped hazelnuts or sliced almonds

Bring water to a boil in a 3-quart saucepan. Stir in rice and salt; bring back to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 50 minutes. When done, drain water if any. Cool completely with lid off.
In a large bowl, combine wine vinegar, oil, sugar, mustard and salt; stir well. Cut apples into bite-size pieces and toss with dressing. Add rice, cranberries, onion and cheese to bowl; stir. Stir in toasted nuts just before serving. Serve on lettuce leaves, if desired.

Kitchen Notes:  

  • While rice cooks, prepare remaining ingredients.
  • To cool rice more quickly, spread it out on a sheet tray and refrigerate. Do not cover.
  • Rice may be made several days in advance. Store in refrigerator, covered.

 An original recipe by Rita Held

5 thoughts on “Wild Rice Cranberry-Apple Salad”

  • This salad is fantastic! I just made it for a work “Thanksgiving” and instead of Dijon, used a maple mustard which gives it an added sweetness. Used a mixture of dried cranberries, cherries, and blueberries.

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