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Recipe: Wild Rice & Cranberry Salad

Looking for a festive side dish packed with flavorful nutrients? Try this delicious cranberry recipe from Cooking Light! It’s best made several hours (or up to 1 day) ahead of time. Allow the salad to come to room temperature before serving.

  • 1 cup wild rice
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 3/4 cup walnuts
  • 8 ounces (2 cups) fresh or thawed frozen cranberries
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons walnut or vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon raspberry or rice vinegar
  • 3 green onions, rinsed and chopped (including green tops)
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped (optional)
  1. In a 4- to 6-quart pan, combine wild rice, salt, and 1 quart water. Bring to a boil over high heat; cover, reduce heat, and simmer until rice is tender to bite and most grains have just split open, 45 to 60 minutes. Drain in a colander and let cool.
  2. Meanwhile, spread walnuts in a baking pan and toast in a 325° regular or convection oven until lightly golden under skins, about 10 minutes. Coarsely chop. Sort cranberries, discarding any stems and bruised or decayed fruit; cut each cranberry in half (see notes).
  3. In a 2- to 3-quart pan over medium-high heat, stir the sugar and 1/2 cup water until the sugar is dissolved and mixture boils. Remove from heat; stir in the halved cranberries. Gently stir occasionally until insides of cranberries have turned red but are still firm, 8 to 12 minutes (see notes). Pour through a fine strainer into a bowl, reserving the cranberry-sugar syrup.
  4. In a large bowl, gently mix wild rice, cranberry halves, oil, and vinegar. Stir in 2 tablespoons cranberry syrup; taste and add up to 1/4 cup more syrup to sweeten and moisten salad as desired (reserve remaining syrup for other uses). Cover and chill for at least 4 hours or up to 1 day (see notes).
  5. Stir in all but 2 tablespoons of the green onions, along with the walnuts and dried cranberries (if using). Sprinkle with remaining green onions just before serving.
Yield: Makes 4 to 6 servings

Kitchen Notes: Cutting the cranberries in half (step 2) is time-consuming, but it makes a big difference in the texture of the finished salad. The cranberries may be steeped in sugar syrup (step 3) up to 1 day ahead; cover and chill in syrup (cranberries' color will deepen).

Nutritional Information:
Calories:338 (45% from fat) 
Fat:17g (sat 1.5g)
Carbohydrates: 45g
Fiber: 3.9g
Sodium: 586mg
Cholesterol: 0.0mg
Published November 02, 2010
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