As I was exploring Minnesota my internet wasn’t the greatest, so I didn’t hit publish on this post until I returned. I wanted to share one of my favorite Minnesota dishes – Wild Rice Salad with Honey Mustard Vinaigrette. I first had this salad at the Douglas Lodge at Itasca State Park (the headwaters of the Mississippi) and then proceeded to buy their cookbook because it had this recipe! I have preceded to change it a little and make it my own and my mom continues to make this salad every time I come to visit or we get together in the summer. It may seem like a strange combination of food and flavors, but believe me it works pretty darn well. Celery adds crunch, grapes add sweetness, rice is chewy, and the almond can be toasted too for more flavor enhancement. Wait, I almost forgot about the water chestnuts and I’m the one who throws a fit if they get left out of the actual salad – they add a refreshing crunch although not super strong in flavor.
Wild Rice Salad with Honey Mustard Vinaigrette
Serves 6 or 4 large dinner salads
- 1 c dry wild rice
- 2 c water
- 1 c halved red grapes
- 1/2 c craisins or raisins
- 1/2 c sliced water chestnuts
- 1 c chopped celery
- 1/4 c sliced almonds
Honey Mustard Dressing
- 1/4 c cider vinegar
- 1 T spicy ground mustard or other grainy mustard variety
- 1/4 c honey
- 1/4 c olive oil
- Pinch of Cayenne (optional)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Pour all salad dressing into a mason jar and shake vigorously. Set aside until ready to use.
- Prepare wild rice: Rinse rice prior to cooking. Bring wild rice and water to a boil, reduce to simmer and cook until grains have split and rice is chewy but not hard. Rinse rice in cold water and drain.
- Combine the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Then add in rice and enough dressing to coat (you will not use all of it the first time. The salad gets better as it sits, but you might need to add more dressing over time as the rice and raisins tends to soak up the dressing.
Just a nice short and sweet recipe!
Although this morning I’m exhausted, vacation was a much needed break where I really tried to unplug (didn’t look at work email once!) from my normal routine, see family and friends I haven’t seen in years, and really remember what’s important in life. Now it’s back to work and back to reality for me. Hope everyone is having a great week!