This Wild Rice Pear Pecan salad is loaded with juicy pears, crunchy pecans, sweet craisins and is melded together with a honey vinaigrette dressing.
Today’s salad makes a perfect side dish for the fall or is great on its own to bring as a lunch. You’ll love the chewy texture of the wild rice and it is loaded with other goodies for your palate pleasure. Being originally from upstate New York, I never heard of wild rice until I moved to Minnesota where it is a staple in many soups, salads and hot dishes (known as casseroles in NY!). There is something about the texture that I really like. It’s not mushy, has a nice nutty flavor to it and technically it is a grass so feel free to graze on it all day!
Other benefits of wild rice – since I’m sure your inquiring minds want to know – it is gluten free, no sodium, two times the protein as brown rice, rich in antioxidants, high fiber and is lower in calories that other rice. So there is your must knows about it!
A few years ago we went to Duluth, Minnesota and stopped to eat lunch at Fitger’s Brewhouse where they are known for making a tasty Minnesota Wild Rice Burger. So of course this foodie person had to give it a try and it did not disappoint. So when I came home, I also knew I had to give it a try and see if I could duplicate it. Mine version came out pretty close. Even the DIY Guy liked it with NO meat. There were quite filling and we enjoyed ours with a tasty beverage. (side note: if you ever get a chance to go to Duluth and the North Shore, you will love it – the scenery is so pretty and fun places to hike).
Now getting back to the salad, you know I always like to give some options. While my version has pears, pecans and red onion, you could also sub apples, walnuts and green onions. The wild rice is the star of the show and feel free to experiment with what you like!
- 1 cup wild rice rinsed well
- 2 tablespoons diced red onion
- 1/2 cup diced celery
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1 medium pear, cored and diced
- 1/2 cup salted pecans
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon champagne vinegar (or apple cider)
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- After rinsing the wild rice well, place in a bowl and add water to cover and soak for about 2-4 hours then drain
- In a medium saucepan place the wild rice with a quart of water, bring to boil, cover and simmer for about 35-40 minutes. The rice does not get very soft and should just have a nice bite to it - test around 35 minutes
- When rice is done, drain and let cool for 15 minutes
- Add red onion, celery, craisins, pear and pecans to a medium sized bown
- Make dressing by combining the olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, dijon mustard, honey and salt/pepper. Mix well
- Add wild rice to mixture then pour dressing over top, toss to combine. This can be served at room temperature or refrigerated
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 315 Total Fat: 14g Saturated Fat: 2g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 12g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 187mg Carbohydrates: 49g Fiber: 5g Sugar: 33g Protein: 2g