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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Wild Rice and Pecan Salad

After gorging on Thai food for what seems like weeks, we wanted something different last night—something dark, earthy, and festive, in honor of the winter solstice.

We remembered one of our favorite recipes from the Greens cookbook—a recipe that we freely adapt, depending on what we have on hand. Sometimes we use hazelnuts; sometimes pecans. Sometimes we use lots of citrus; sometimes we rely on rice vinegar for the acid. But whatever we use, it's always good.

This recipe is great for a holiday dinner that includes vegetarians, as the grains and nuts provide complete protein. It also makes an excellent side dish.

Wild Rice and Pecan Salad

1 cup wild rice
1/2 cup pecans
1 tart apple
1 small fennel bulb


juice and zest from one large orange
1 T. rice vinegar
3 scallions, minced
1/2 t. fennel seeds, crushed in a mortar or with the back of a spoon
2 T. chopped parsley
1/4 cup walnut oil

1. Boil the wild rice to desired doneness, about 30 minutes. (We like it a little chewy.)
2. Toast the pecans in a frying pan; if you like, you can add a little bit of olive oil to speed up the process.
3. Cut the fennel bulb and apple into dice—slightly smaller than 1/2-inch dice works well, though you can see from the photo that we're not that picky about it.
4. Prepare dressing.
5. When rice is done, mix with pecans, fennel, and apple. Add dressing while the rice is still hot.

Serves four as a side dish.

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