Wild rice is not rice. It’s a nutrient-dense semi-aquatic grass indigenous to North America, as are the grains, beans and seeds in the following Jeweled Grain Salad recipe. Its nutty flavor and chewy texture add interest to the grains and beans, and the orange zest gives it a bright burst of flavor. This salad is a breeze to whip up if the grains and beans are cooked ahead of time and easily accommodates almost any additional leftovers from the fridge.
Grain Salad Ingredients:
¼ cup Rice vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
Juice and zest from one Large orange (4 Tablespoons)
Juice from ½ Lemon (approximately 1 Tablespoon)
¼ cup Maple syrup
1-2 Tablespoons Minced shallot
Pinch of Sea salt
¼ cup Sunflower oil (or any neutral oil, like avocado oil)
Maple Vinaigrette Ingredients (Yields approximately 1 cup):
2 cups Cooked wild rice
1 cup Cooked grains (quinoa and/or amaranth)
1 cup Cooked beans or pulses (lentils, Anasazi)
1 ½ cups Chopped assorted nuts and seeds, toasted (pignoli, sunflower, pepitas, pecans)
1 cup Dried assorted fruit (blueberry, cranberry, blackberry, raspberry)
3 cups Assorted greens (arugula, watercress)
½ cup Chopped herbs (parsley, mint, chives, cilantro)
For the vinaigrette base, whisk together all the ingredients except for the oil. Set aside while you make the grain salad.
In a large mixing bowl, blend together the rice, grains, beans or pulses (or a combination of both), nuts and seeds, and dried fruit.
Whisk the oil into the maple-orange vinaigrette mixture until emulsified.
In another mixing bowl, sprinkle the assorted greens with a pinch of sea salt and toss.
Toss lightly with some of the vinaigrette.
Generously toss the grain and bean mixture with more of the vinaigrette. Correct for seasoning.
Arrange the greens on a serving platter or serving plates and top with the grain salad.
Drizzle with additional vinaigrette and sprinkle with the chopped herbs.
Pairs well with roast chicken or wild game, white fish, or sliced avocados and a liberal drizzle of the vinaigrette.