I’m a little late on the spring cleaning thing so I’ll say I’ve been celebrating summer cleaning, and that includes my pantry/fridge. I’m really looking to whittle down my storage and get rid of a lot of items that are leftover from other recipes or I’ve just had for too long…or that I just seem to have a lot of (a total of 5 bottles of cooking oil including olive, coconut, and vegetable for 1 person….). It’s time to part with the 1/2 bag of frozen cranberries I still have from Thanksgiving and the few number of chocolate chips still left in the bag (confession, I just ate these and voila! One bag gone!). I was looking to make a dish that included several items I could cross off the pantry inventory and decided on a classic favorite, wild rice salad with toasted nuts, dried cherries & parsley. I was able to empty out two containers, one of wild rice and one of sunflower seeds, and take a small hit on the Costco sized bags of cherries and nuts I have. I added a little dressing as well, using my Motherlode mustard sample that I received in a Hatchery box a few months ago. After eating it for three days, I think this salad is best at room temperature, and eaten as fast as possible. The nuts will absorb moisture and then they lose their great toasty crunch.
Wild rice salad: serves 4 as a side dish or 2 as a main dish
- 1 cup uncooked wild rice
- 1/2 cup chopped almonds or walnuts (I used a mix of both)
- 1 tbsp sunflower seeds
- 1/2 cup dried cherries
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp mustard (I recommend Murphys Mustard Co. Motherlode mustard)
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
Cover the rice in a pot with about 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Cover and let simmer about 30 minutes, or until grains are cooked and split down the middle. Drain water and let cool to room temperature. In a separate pan, toast the nuts and sunflower seeds until golden brown in a small amount of oil. Set aside.
Once the rice has cooled, add the nuts, seeds, cherries and parsley. Fluff mix together and then add the olive oil, mustard and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper as desired and then enjoy!
There are so many different flavors in this salad I just love it. The rice is a great, chewy base with the oily toasted nuts providing crunch and the cherries an explosion of sweetness. Fresh parsley keeps the salad feeling light and fresh. The vinaigrette I added adds a really subtle flavor, mostly just keeping the grains moist. Murphy’s Motherlode mustard was an excellent choice for this recipe, the whole grain slightly sweet mustard work perfectly with the dried cherries and nuts. I mostly ate it plain but one night I baked some salmon and ate them together and it was deeelicious.