Wild Rice Salad
4 cups (1 L) water
1 cup (250 mL) wild rice, rinsed
2 dried bay leaves
1 tsp (5 mL) salt, divided
½ cup (120 mL) dried apricots
½ cup (120 mL) dried cranberries
1 tsp (5 mL) orange zest
1/3 cup (80 mL) diced red pepper
1/3 cup (80 mL) diced yellow pepper
¼ cup (60 mL) chopped green onion
2 Tbsp (30 mL) chopped walnuts (or pecans)
1/3 cup (80 mL) balsamic vinegar
2 tsp (10 mL) shallots, minced
½ tsp (2.5 mL) Dijon mustard
1/3 cup (80 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
¼ tsp (1 mL) ground black pepper
1 2/3 cup (160 mL) canned mandarin orange segments, drained (or fresh tangerine or orange segments)
In a medium saucepan, bring the water to a boil over high heat. Add rice, bay leaves and ¼ tsp (1 mL) salt. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook for 40-50 minutes or until the rice is tender and the water is absorbed. Discard bay leaves. Transfer rice to a large bowl, fluff with a fork and let cool.
Cut dried apricots into small pieces and blanch, along with the cranberries, in a pot of boiling water for 3 minutes; drain and set aside. Combine the rice, apricots, cranberries, orange zest, peppers, green onion and walnuts together in a large bowl and mix well.
Place vinaigrette ingredients in a small bowl with remaining salt and whisk vigorously or use a hand blender to combine. Pour vinaigrette over the salad and mix well. Chill before serving. Garnish with mandarin segments, if using.
Source: Ontario Turkey (ontarioturkey.ca), courtesy of Chef David Wolfman