This make-ahead salad combines indigenous North American wild rice with the colors of fall. Not only will it save you prep time on Thanksgiving Day, it will add a vegan element to your menu that everyone can enjoy. Prepare the vinaigrette while the rice is cooking. Combine the rice with half the vinaigrette up to a day ahead; prep and refrigerate the remaining ingredients separately and toss them with the rice and remaining vinaigrette up to an hour before serving.
- Golden Raisin Vinaigrette:
- 1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (approximately 1 orange)
- 1/4 cup golden raisins
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2/3 cup walnut or canola oil
- 2 tablespoons roughly chopped shallot
- 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1-1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped tarragon
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Remaining Ingredients:
- 2 cups wild rice
- 2 cups radicchio , washed, dried and finely chopped (approximately 1 small head)
- 2 cups thinly sliced celery ribs
- 2/3 cup thinly sliced dried apricots
- 2/3 cup shelled pistachios or chopped walnuts
- 1/2 cup sweetened dried cranberries, coarsely chopped
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
To prepare vinaigrette, combine first 4 ingredients in a small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on HIGH 30 seconds or until hot and bubbling. (You may also bring mixture to a brief boil on the stove top.) Stir and let stand 2-5 minutes or until raisins are soft. Place raisins, soaking liquid and next 7 ingredients (through 1/8 teaspoon pepper) in a blender or small food processor; pulse to combine.
Cook rice in plenty of boiling salted water for 1 hour or until grains are split and tender. Remove from heat, drain, and rinse with cold water. Toss rice with half the vinaigrette, and refrigerate up to 24 hours.
Up to 1 hour before serving, combine rice with remaining vinaigrette, radicchio and remaining ingredients; toss to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings, if desired.