This wild rice dish can be served hot, warm, or cold. I make it ahead of time for holiday meals, and serve it either cold, as a salad, or at room temperature. Either way, it's always a hit. There's a nice blend of tastes here, so it's sure to please!
1/2 cup wild rice
1 to 1-1/2 cups cold water
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/2 small fennel bulb, thinly sliced
1 pear, cored, halved, and thinly sliced
1/2 tsp salt
zest from one orange
4 Tbs fresh orange juice
4 Tbs fresh lemon juice
1 Tbs balsamic vinegar
6 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbs chopped chives
1 Tbs chopped flat leaf parsley
1/4 tsp crushed fennel seeds
Cover wild rice with water, add the dried cranberries, and cook in a rice cooker until done or in a covered saucepan on stovetop about 30 minutes, until water is absorbed and rice is tender but still chewy. Make the dressing while the rice cooks. To make the dressing, roll the orange to release the juices, then remove the zest by grating only the orange portion of the skin. Juice the orange and lemon and add the juices to the zest. Add the vinegar and oil, and whisk the ingredients together. Add the chives, parsley, and fennel seeds. Whisk once more before adding to salad. Add chopped pecans and fennel to wild rice mixture, and toss mixture with enough of the dressing to moisten salad. Taste the salad and add salt as needed. Add the pear just before serving.
Stealthy Cooking Tip: The pretty color of the cranberries makes this rice dish visually appealing. It's our secret that this dish includes vitamin C from cranberries, oranges, and lemons! All in one serving!