Happy almost Thanksgiving! If you’re searching for a refreshing, flavorful salad for the holiday table, I’ve got just the dish. This wild rice salad has been a Meyer family favorite for years and I’m always happy to see it on my plate. Right when the richness of buttery stuffing, buttery mashed potatoes, and buttery gravy threatens to tank your palate, slide your fork over for a bite of this salad, snappy and downright refreshing with orange zest and the crunch of toasted pumpkin seeds.
Bonus 1: It tastes even better the next day, which makes it a perfect do-ahead dish as well as a leftovers treat.
Bonus 2: It can easily be made vegan.
Bonus 3: You can play with the ingredients to your heart’s content. Pine nuts instead of pumpkin seeds. Pomegranate seeds instead of golden raisins. Add cubes of roasted squash. Add cubes of apple. Just don’t add marshmallows…
Enjoy a lovely meal, everyone!
Crunchy Wild Rice Salad with Citrus Dressing
4 c. water
3 c. chicken broth
1 tsp. salt
2 1/2 c. wild rice
1 c. dried cranberries
1 c. golden raisins (or pomegranate seeds)
1 c. chopped green onions (about 1 bunch)
3/4 c. toasted pumpkin seeds (or pine nuts)
1/2 c. chopped fresh parsley
2 Tbsp. grated orange peel
1/2 c. fresh orange juice
1/4 c. apple cider vinegar
1/2 c. olive oil
2 Tbsp. maple syrup (or more to taste)
1 tsp. salt
salt & freshly ground black pepper
Bring water, broth, and salt to a boil in a large saucepan. Stir in rice and bring back to a boil. Cover pan, turn heat to low, and simmer rice until tender but still firm, stirring occasionally, about 40 minutes. Drain rice in a colander. Transfer to a large bowl and cool.
Add cranberries, raisins, green onions, pumpkin seeds, parsley, and orange peel to cooled rice.
In a small bowl, whisk together orange juice, vinegar, olive oil, maple syrup, and salt. Pour over salad and toss to thoroughly combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Can be made one day ahead; reserve nuts and stir in right before serving to preserve crunch.