Wild Rice and Sauteed Tuscan Kale Salad
Years ago we found ourselves in the cafe at one of the Smithsonian museums in Washington, hungry, but reluctant to order food at a museum cafe. The wild rice salad caught my eye and I convinced my husband to give it a try. We were presented with what seemed like a small plate of salad but as soon as I took my first bite I was hooked on the flavour. It was my first time eating wild rice but I loved all the elements that created bites of sweetness, tang and texture. I suspect your memory plays tricks on you and my version of this salad probably tastes nothing like that salad we ate oh so long ago but it doesn’t stop devouring this when it’s in front of me. The ratio of all the ingredients are just a guide, after all it’s a salad, so you can be pretty flexible – I’m often inclined to just measure by handfuls before throwing it in the bowl. This recipe makes about 2-3 serves – I make it at the start of the week and have it for lunch over a few days but you could easily increase the amounts and make a larger salad that could be served at a party or family dinner.
40g wild rice
15g toasted pumpkin seeds
15g dried cranberries
1/2 bunch of flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
20g roasted almonds
4 cups tuscan kale, ends trimmed, leaves and stems thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
3 tsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp honey
Wash the wild rice under cold water and drain. Place the rice into a saucepan and add enough water to cover the wild rice. Bring the water to a boil before reducing the heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes or till the grains open and are curled. Drain and put aside.
Whilst the rice is cooking, heat half a tablespoon of olive oil in a pan and add the garlic. Once the garlic is fragrant but not browned, add the kale stems to saute for a minute before adding the leaves. Saute the kale till tender and then transfer everything into a serving bowl.
To make the dressing, place all the dressing ingredients into a small jar and put on the lid. Shake till well mixed then open and taste before seasoning with salt and pepper. The dressing should taste tangy and slightly sweet.
Add the wild rice and rest of the salad ingredients into the bowl with the kale before adding the dressing over the salad and toss to combine.
Handy tip: The salad is great to make the night before as it allows the dressing to seep into the ingredients.