My friend Becky may not enjoy cooking, but she has a discriminating palate and an eye for a good recipe. Many years ago she shared this recipe with me for wild rice salad from the Mitsitam Cafe in the National Museum of the American Indian.
You can use only wild rice or a mixture of different types of rice to make the wild rice salad. I used a mixture of brown basmati rice and wild rice. Wild rice has an outer shell (bran) that gives it a chewy texture. It has a slightly grassy flavor and a smokiness that comes from the way it’s processed.
Cook the rice in chicken broth until tender to enhance the flavor.
Before adding the pine nuts and pumpkin seeds to the rice, roast the seeds until golden. The crunchy seeds and the raw matchstick carrots provide contrast to the chewy, grassy rice and the tart, dried cranberries. The chopped tomatoes and green onions add a little acid to the rice salad.
The honey vinaigrette perfectly balances and fuses the ingredients together. Whisk together these three simple ingredients; apple cider vinegar, oil, and a couple of tablespoons of honey for this vinaigrette.
Pour the vinaigrette over the rice and vegetable, nut, and fruit mixture. Allow the wild rice salad to rest in the fridge for at least an hour. Remove the salad from the fridge at least 30 minutes before serving. The salad is best if it is served only slightly chilled. At the museum, the salad is served on a bed of watercress. I served it on a bed of mixed greens because watercress is difficult to find.
This salad pairs well with almost anything. I served it on the weekend for brunch with avocado toast and poached eggs. Last week, I served it with a smoked chicken for dinner. The wild rice salad can be served as a main for lunch also. Thank you, Becky and the Mitsitam Cafe for this wild rice salad.