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Wild Rice Salad with Cranberries

Wild Rice Salad with CranberriesWild rice is a delicious and nutritious ingredient. Not only is it packed full of flavor, but it is also higher in protein, fiber and nutrients, and lower in calories than white or brown rice. Wild rice, which is not really a rice at all, is also gluten free. Wild rice is a grain which grows from an aquatic grass and is native to the Great Lakes region of North America. In this recipe, I combined wild rice with brown rice for a great nutty flavor. If you would like to make the recipe gluten-free, just omit the brown rice and add a 1/4 cup more of wild rice and add 1 1/2 cups more water. With most cranberry rice salads, dried cranberries are used. In my recipe, I used frozen and defrosted cranberries; however you could also use fresh cranberries. I also halved the berries. Halving them adds a great texture to the salad, and allows the sugar in the recipe to get into the cranberries better. I loved the sweet and tart flavor of this rice salad. We ate this salad as a light supper, but it would also be a great accompaniment to any fall or holiday meal.

Wild Rice Salad with Cranberries Recipe

Ingredients
1/4 cup Wild Rice
1/4 cup brown rice
2 1/2 cups water
1/ 2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups fresh or frozen and defrosted Cranberries, halved
1 cup Walnuts, roasted
8 Green Onions, chopped
the juice and zest of 1 orange
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
a pinch of kosher salt

Method
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees for roasting walnuts. Combine wild rice, brown rice and water in a medium saucepan. Add 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cover with a tightly fighting lid and simmer for 30-40 minutes, or until water is absorbed and rice is tender. When rice is done, remove from heat, and leave covered to rest for 10-15 minutes.

2. Spread nuts over a large cookie sheet. Roast at 350 degrees in the oven for 5-10 minutes, or until they smell fragrant. In a large mixing bowl, combine halved cranberries, chopped green onions, orange zest and juice, sugar, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, freshly chopped parsley, a pinch of kosher salt and roasted walnuts. Toss to combine. Add rice and toss well. Let set at least 15 minutes before serving.

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