Wild Rice Salad with Cherries and Pistachios
Makes 11 -12 Cups of Salad
Served About 15 People as a side Dish
7 Cups Cooked Wild Rice (This comes from about 2 cups dried wild rice)
1 Cup Pistachios, Shelled and Coarsely Chopped (you can by these out of the shell)
2 Crisp Apples, Chopped into 1/4″ Dice (About 2 Cups Total)
2 Cups Dried Cherries, Coarsely Chopped
1 Tbsp. Lemon Zest (Zest From 3 Small Lemons or 2 Large)
Juice of 3 Lemons or 2 Large
1/2 Cup Green Onion, White and Green Parts
1 Tsp. Salt
1/2 Tsp. Black Papper
Salad Dressing Ingredients
1/3 Cup Golden Fig Vanilla Balsamic Vinegar – or – traditional Balsamic Vinegar
2/3 Cup Olive Oil
1 1/2 Tsp. Garlic Powder
1 Tsp. Onion Powder
1 1/2 Tsp. Dijon Mustard
Salt and Pepper to Taste
Add a little bit of hot water to thin it out if you like
Cook wild rice and cool. This can be done a day in advance. Put rice into a large mixing bowl
Either by hand or with a food processer coarsely chop the pistachios. If using the food processor, use the pulse mood and give them a few quick zips. You want the nuts to break down but not turn into dust. Pour into bowl with rice.
Next coarsely chop the dried cherries using your choice of the previous two chopping methods. Pour into bowl with rice. Chop the apples and squeeze the juice of one lemon over them and toss. This will keep them from browning. Add the apples, onions and lemon zest to the salad.
Squeeze the remaining two lemons and set aside.
For the dressing whisk all of the ingredients together and until nicely combined. If it seems to thick put a little drizzle of hot water in it to thin it out. Pour the dressing over the salad and stir well. Then stir the reserved lemon juice into the salad. Taste and adjust salt and pepper levels.
It will be ready to serve right away.
If you make it a day in advance you may want to make a little extra dressing to spruce up the salad the next day. The rice has a tendency to continue soaking up the liquid, so it may need a little more “juice” before serving. If you don’t have extra dressing simply drizzle a bit more balsamic into the salad straight from the bottle, and maybe a bit more oil. Taste for salt levels at this point again as well!
*Please note…that the apples will look a little dark from the balsamic, but they are not really browning!*