This recipe card came with my Rancho Gordo beans. The recipe originally uses Dried Prickly Pear and Banana Vinegar. But I had dried apricots, which the card mentioned was a good substitute, wild rice, and pine nuts. So, why not?
I just learned Wild Rice is not really rice but an aquatic grass-seed and they were a staple in the diet of Chippewa and Sioux Indians, native to Minnesota. And although they are cultivated by machines in California, which are usually the ones you would find in the supermarket, there are wild rice still processed in the “old way” in Minnesota. They take canoes out to the lake beds, pick the rice by hand and parch them over fire, again by hand. I can attest that the taste is far superior than supermarket wild rice. I can’t describe it without sounding cheesy. Haha. I have “feels” for real wild rice.
The recipe works because none of the ingredients overwhelm each other, they all support each other in a subtle way with a bit of vinegar to liven it up. In short, it’s very yummy and I was pleasantly surprised.
I’ll explain this in the notes. This happened because I like to make my life difficult.
Make it complete meal with some protein. I love sardines and I eat a lot of eggs.
Although I am singing the praises of real wild rice, supermarket wild rice still tastes pretty good and I’m sure it’ll work here.
Please follow the cooking times for whichever rice you pick. Supermarket varieties require a much longer cooking time. Whereas real wild rice, is only half time. The cooking time below is for real wild rice.
That foil ring thing – I read about a Japanese technique that involves a Otoshibuta and I’ve been itching to try it out. I told myself that this rice needed it during the last five minutes of cooking that I fashioned one out of parchment paper and foil. I’m pretty sure this was completely unnecessary.
The original recipe calls for Banana Vinegar which is sold by Rancho Gordo. I didn’t have it and after reading the description of the flavors and how it complements the dish I thought a mix of Rice Wine Vinegar, Apple Cider Vinegar, and a dash of Balsamic would work, and it did! Please don’t use White Distilled Vinegar here.
Wild Rice Salad with Dried Apricots and Pine Nuts
from Rancho Gordo
Makes 2 – 4 servings. Takes about 30 minutes if using Real Wild Rice (double the time for normal Wild Rice)
- 1 c. wild rice
- 4 green onions, thinly slice; separate white and green parts
- 1 T. extra virgin olive oi
- salt & pepper
- 2 c. and 2 T. water
- 1/2 c. dried apricots, cut into small pieces
- 1 T. rice vinegar
- 1 T. apple cider vinegar
- a dash of balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 c. pine nuts, toasted
Rinse wild rice twice.
In a saucepan, heat oil and saute white part of green onions till soft. Season with salt and pepper. Add the wild rice and 2 cups water. Bring to boil, lower heat to simmer for about 20 minutes until soft. Stir occasionally. Season to taste with salt and pepper. There should be a bit of liquid left in the pot. Set aside.
In another small saucepan, add the dried apricots, all the vinegars, and remaining 2 T. water. On medium high, stirring frequently, cook til the liquid is all absorbed. Set aside.
Toast the pine nuts until brown.
In a big bowl, combine the rice, apricots, pine nuts, and green part of green onions. Taste and season again if necessary.
Serve warm or room temperature.
This is best served immediately or stored for one day only. Isn’t very good after a night in the fridge.