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Just so you don’t think I am only baking during this pandemic…I am sharing a concoction I have made twice in the last two weeks. I’m finding that these days, I like to have room temperature salads or easy soups available and ready to eat at home mid-day. I’ve never been one to enjoy restaurant food very often so the lack of being able to stop and grab a snack or lunch really is not a problem for me. What I do miss is sharing my creations with friends, though. So here I am – sharing this with you!
This wild rice salad is delicious served warm or at room temperature. I try to make a large amount of this when I begin because I never tire of eating it a few days in a row. To add more oomph, you could add shredded roasted chicken or fried tofu – although I do enjoy it as a simple vegetarian dish. It has all the flavors and textures I adore – savory, sweet, crunchy, and comforting – and it is one of those side dishes that gets better the following day. An added bonus is that it looks pretty and colorful as well.
Wild Rice Salad with Apricots and Herbs
- 1 ¼ cups wild rice
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- About 25 grinds of fresh black pepper
- 1 medium white or red onion, peel and dice ¼ inch
- 2 teaspoons fresh coriander seeds
- ½ cup roughly diced ruby dried apricots (a pantry staple for me)
- Grated zest of one lemon
- 2 Tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro (you can use both leaves and tender stems)
- 2 Tbsp fresh chopped mint leaves
- 2 Tbsp fresh chopped Italian parsley
- 1 cup toasted chopped pecans, reserve to top the dish
Make the wild rice according to package directions but do not overcook it. I do this in my pressure cooker but the stovetop takes about a half an hour. Drain and cool
Meanwhile, heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat for a minute, and add olive oil. When it is warm, add onion, pepper, and salt. Reduce to low and keep stirring the onions occasionally so they become soft and brown. Once the onions are soft, add coriander seed and stir on the heat for a minute. Add the apricots and lemon zest and continue to cook for another two minutes.
Take the pan off the heat and add the cooked drained rice to the onion mixture in the pan so the flavors combine. Add the lemon juice and chopped fresh herbs. Taste and add additional salt, black pepper, lemon or olive oil as needed. Top each serving with the toasted pecans. Serve warm or refrigerate for the next day or eat at room temperature.