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Author Notes: I cooked wild rice for the first time recently, and wondered why it took me so long to try it - it is delicious. I wouldn't use it as a substitute for white rice, but in salads in soups, it is a great filler without being too starchy, and adds fantastic texture. This salad is a tasty example, I served it as a side with a cilantro pesto barbecued chicken, or you could easily have it as your main meal if you felt like a light healthy dinner. It is perfectly balanced - crunchy from the rice and almonds, spicy and tart from the chili and lemon with pops of sweetness from the corn. I'm not a huge vinegar fan but if you are, white wine vinegar would also work well to replace the lemon. —alizanordin
Serves 8 (4 as a main)
- 2/3 cup wild black rice
- 1 cup cooked corn
- 1 tomato
- 1 orange bell pepper
- 1 bunch cilantro
- 2 jalapeño peppers
- 1 cup raw almonds (or buy toasted, unsalted)
- 1/2 red onion
- 1/2 cucumber
- 1 lemon (juice)
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- Add your wild rice to a saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer for 45 minutes til it is nutty and firm, but soft inside. You'll see the black husk split from the grain, giving it a wonderful flecked appearance. Drain, rinse in cold water and allow to cool (I spread it on a cold plate and it was all cool by the time I finished chopping).
- In a 350F oven, toast your whole almonds for 10 minutes, and allow to cool.
- Finely chop(I like to cube) your tomato, bell pepper, cucumber, jalapeño and red onion so they are all even in size. Roughly chop your almonds and cilantro, and add these ingredients to a large bowl along with the cooked corn. Stir it all through and see how pretty it looks!
- To make the dressing, juice your lemon and add to a small jar. Add your extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper, and shake it to combine.
- Poor your dressing over the salad and give it a good stir. Check the seasoning to taste, it should be wonderfully spicy and zesty from the lemon, but nutty from the wild rice and almonds. Utterly delicious!