Wild Rice Salad with Dried Cranberries
Wild rice, although not really a rice at all, is a true North American native. For many households, it has become a regular part of Thanksgiving family dinners and other festive fall & winter meals. This flavorful and nutritious salad is substantial enough to stand on its own as a light main dish, but it goes equally well with just about anything. Whenever you make it, make plenty of it. It refrigerates well and the rich, nutty flavor of this salad, brightened with citrus and laced with plenty of dried cranberries, pecans, celery & ginger, may even taste better the next day as leftovers.
Place the wild rice in a medium pot with 4 cups of water and 2 teaspoons of salt and bring to a boil. Simmer uncovered for 50 to 60 minutes, until the rice is very tender. Drain well and place the rice back in the pot. Cover and allow to steam for 10 minutes.
Slice the celery into 1/4 inch pieces. Peel and slice the ginger into 1/8 inch strips. Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a small pan over medium heat and cook the celery and ginger until barely tender, 3 -4 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a medium sized bowl, mix the cooked wild rice, cranberries, raisins, pecans, celery, ginger and green onions.
In a smaller mixing bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, remaining olive oil, orange zest and sugar. Toss the wild rice mixture together with the dressing and add salt and pepper to taste. Allow to stand at room temperature for 20 minutes to allow flavors to blend.
May be refrigerated for up to 4 days.