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Thursday, 19 April 2012

Wild Rice Salad

According to Hollywood, grocery stores are among the most popular locations for attractive strangers to strike up random conversations and comedic romances to begin.  I'm not sure where the writers get this idea as, in my experience, it's exceedingly rare to see anyone engage in a polysyllabic conversation while wheeling their frozen peas and screaming 3 year olds through the isles.  In fact, the aforementioned children are often the only audible sound aside from the easy listening muzak pumped over the PA system in what I always assumed was an effort to subliminally condition us to associate Kenny G with concentrated orange juice and baby carrots.

Farmers' markets, on the other hand, are a completely different story.  Perhaps it's the patron's shared interests, that the vendors all have skin in the game or the prevalence of over-caffeinated yuppie scum but most farmers markets are chattier than a nail salon in a Queen Latifah movie.  Just this weekend while shopping in the St. Lawrence Market, I got to talking about wild rice with the guy manning Rube's Rice stand and he recommended this truly AWESOME recipe for wild rice salad.  He didn't remember where it originally came from so I'm going to give the credit entirely to him; Rube's friendly employee with the vaguely American accent.

Corporate grocers take note:  I went in to get a staple grain and left with an awesome recipe, at least twice the ingredients I originally intended and am now telling perhaps as many as nine people (two or three of which might actually live in Toronto) about his store by writing this post.  Repeat this scene at most big grocery stores and the best advice I'd likely get is that the Wild Rice is in aisle 4 next to the Extreme Fajita shells.

1 cup wild rice
5-6 cups light stock (veggie, chicken, duck or veal)
1 cup pecans, shelled and halved
1 cup cranberries
1 orange, juiced and zested
1/4 cup mint leaves, minced
3 small shallots, finely minced
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
black pepper to taste

Rinse the rice and bring to a boil in the stock.  Simmer, uncovered, for 30-40 minutes until done (it should still have some bite to it), drain and let cool.  Mix remaining ingredients with the rice in a large bowl and set aside for at least a couple of hours to let the flavours meld.


  1. Never had rice in my salad before, but this sounds delicious. I can imagine the flavor and the crunchiness of it. Nice!

    1. Thanks Priscilla. I hope you give it a try. It really makes a great side dish and a fabulous lunch the next day.