Make dinner tonight, inspired!

Wondering what to make for dinner tonight? This is your place for quick and healthy meal inspirations. Here you'll find recipes for seasonally focused dinners, desserts, breakfasts, and everything in between.

My cooking focuses on the freshest ingredients prepared in a simple and careful way, to highlight their uniqueness. My own diet is primarily vegetarian, but does include sustainable fish and seafood, and is gluten free.

Thank you for reading. I look forward to sharing some of my favorite recipes with you!

02 March 2010

Wild Rice Salad with Citrus & Herbs

Wild Rice has a nutty, earthy flavor that I love. I think it makes a great side dish for just about everything. Tonight I'm serving it alongside little phyllo parcels filled with spinach and feta.

A Wild Rice salad can be a jumping off point for whatever flavors are in season. In the fall I add dried cranberries and hazelnuts and serve it alongside roasted squash. In the winter it's great mixed with wilted kale, walnuts, and tahini dressing. Since spring is well upon us and the citrus and herbs and just lovely now, I thought I'd feature them in this version.

Tonight's salad uses fresh parsley, oregano, and mint from my garden. It also has salt preserved lemons, Cara Cara oranges, and pine nuts. I've blended the wild rice with some brown rice to add another texture and flavor component. As much as I enjoy the distinct flavor of Wild Rice, I generally prefer it mixed with a little brown Basmati. It mellows out the flavor just enough where I find it combines with a wider variety of ingredients.

This recipe makes quite a lot of salad. I plan to eat it all week with my various evening meals and take it along for lunches as well. It's a great picnic salad too if the sun is shining this weekend and perhaps a picnic is on your agenda.

For the salad:
Yields 8 cups

1 cup Wild Rice, rinsed well
1/2 cup brown Basmati rice, rinsed well
2 cups low sodium vegetable stock
2 cups water
1 whole preserved lemon, finely chopped
2 Cara Cara oranges, zested and segmented
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
2 scallions, white and light green parts only, finely diced
1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
2 TB fresh mint, finely chopped
2 tsp fresh oregano, finely chopped
1 TB Dijon mustard
1 TB white wine vinegar
2 TB Extra Virgin Olive Oil
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper

1) Add the water, stock, and both rices to a large saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a gentle and simmer and cook about 45 minutes, until both rices are tender.

2) Meanwhile, in a large serving bowl, add the orange zest, white wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, olive oil, salt & pepper. Segment the oranges and chop the preserved lemon and set both aside. Toast the pine nuts in a small skillet and set aside.

3) When the rice has cooled, add it to the serving bowl and toss with the dressing. Add the pine nuts and both citrus fruits, as well as the herbs and the scallions. Gently toss the whole dish to combine. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

*I think this salad tastes best when served chilled, so make it ahead and serve it anytime.

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