Festive Cranberry Wild Rice Salad

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Tis the season for hosting gatherings, sharing meals and savoring moments. I brought this simple salad to a holiday party recently and it was a hit. I knew I wanted to use fresh cranberries, but honestly didn’t really know how it was going to turn out. Well, it worked and I was asked by several guests for the recipe, so here you go.

I cooked some Lundberg Countrywild rice according to the package directions, but you could use any wild rice really. Then while the rice was still warm, I added chopped fresh cranberries so they would soften but not be too cooked. I chopped celery, apple and pecans to add. The whole thing was pulled together with a simple cranberry vinaigrette. I found the most amazing cranberry vinegar here in Houston at an oil and vinegar store called Vom Fass. If you can’t find that flavor, simply use a plain balsamic vinegar.

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Festive Cranberry Wild Rice Salad

Serves 6-8 as a side dish

1 cup wild rice

1 cup fresh organic cranberries, chopped

2 stalks celery, finely chopped

1 apple, chopped (I used Pink Lady)

1/2 cup raw pecans, chopped

1/4 cup cranberry balsamic vinegar

1/4 olive oil

1 tsp dijon mustard

1-2 tsp pure maple syrup

Sea salt, black pepper and garlic pepper (to taste)

Prepare rice according to package directions. Once cooked, add chopped cranberries and allow to soften in the pot about ten minutes.

Transfer rice mixture to a large bowl and add chopped celery, apple and pecans. Taste and season with sea salt and garlic pepper if using

Whisk together vinegar, oil, mustard and maple syrup. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Adding more oil if dressing is to tangy.

Toss rice salad with vinaigrette to coat. You may have some dressing left over. Store for another use.

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