Wild Rice and Cranberry Salad

In my grocery store, fresh cranberries are only available in the fall, so this is a true seasonal recipe -- a rarity in this day and age!

Adapted from: Sunset Magazine, November 2003

Makes 4-6 servings
Prep and Cook Time: ~1 hour plus at least 4 hours to chill
  • Best made several hours (or up to 1 day) in advance.
  • Allow the salad to come to room temperature and garnish just before serving.
  • Cutting the cranberries in half is time-consuming, but it makes a big difference in the texture of the finished salad.
  • The cranberries may be steeped in the sugar syrup up to 1 day ahead; cover and chill in syrup (cranberries’ color will deepen).
  • I did not use the dried cranberries.
1 cup wild rice
1 tablespoon salt
¾ cup walnuts
12 ounces (3 cups) fresh cranberries
¾ cup sugar
3 tablespoons walnut or vegetable oil
1 tablespoon wine or rice vinegar
3 green onions, rinsed and chopped (including green tops)
½ cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped (optional)
  • In a 4- to 6-quart pan, combine wild rice, salt, and 1 quart water. Bring to a boil over high heat; cover, reduce heat, and simmer until rice is tender to bite and most grains have just split open, 45 to 60 minutes. Drain in a colander and let cool.
  • Meanwhile, spread walnuts in a baking pan and toast in a 325° oven until lightly golden under skins, about 4 minutes. Chop coarsely.
  • Sort cranberries, discarding any stems and bruised or decayed fruit; cut each cranberry in half.
  • In a 2- to 3-quart pan over medium-high heat, stir the sugar and ¾ cup water (1:1 ratio) until the sugar is dissolved and mixture boils. Remove from heat; stir in the halved cranberries. Gently stir occasionally until insides of cranberries have turned red but are still firm, 8 to 12 minutes. Pour through a fine strainer into a bowl, reserving the cranberry-sugar syrup.
  • In a large bowl, mix the oil, vinegar and 2 tablespoons of the cranberry syrup. Gently mix in the wild rice, and cranberry halves. Taste and add up to ¼ cup more syrup to sweeten and moisten salad as desired (reserve remaining syrup for other uses . . . New England Shirley Temples?).
  • Cover and chill for at least 4 hours or up to 1 day.
  • Stir in all but 2 tablespoons of the green onions, along with the walnuts and dried cranberries (if using). Sprinkle with remaining green onions just before serving.
Nutrients per Serving
338 kcal, 45% (153 kcal) from fat; 6.3 g protein; 17 g fat; 1.5 g sat fat; 45 g carbohydrate; 3.9 g fiber; 586 mg sodium; 0 mg cholesterol.


Sherry said...

Good grief, this sounds good.

I have a vegetarian friend coming to visit from VA. This should be a nice thing to serve. And... I can do it in advance.


Minka's Studio said...

Hi Sherry,
You may have problems finding fresh cranberries in the grocery in July. I guess this is really a seasonal recipe. I'll have to add a comment to the top of the recipe.

Thank you for bringing this to my attention.

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