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Archive for Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Wild rice dresses up summer salad

June 27, 2007

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Wild rice is quite toothsome and has a distinctive, nutty flavor with hints of smokiness. The long earth-toned grains make it a visually attractive choice for pilafs or for blending into a mixture of whole-grain varieties.

Wild rice also is delicious in salads such as this one, which features shredded chicken, snow peas and an Asian-style dressing laced with fresh ginger and toasted sesame oil.

Poached or grilled chicken works well in this cold, summer salad. It's also a great way to use up the leftovers of a whole roasted chicken. For a vegetarian version, try substituting diced, baked tofu for the chicken.

Asian wild rice salad with chicken

For the dressing:

3 tablespoons rice vinegar

1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger

1 teaspoon soy sauce

1/4 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground black pepper

For the salad:

2/3 cup wild rice (4 ounces)

1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

1 teaspoon soy sauce

1 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken

1 cup fresh snow peas, stemmed and cut in half on the diagonal

1/2 cup thinly sliced red bell pepper

1/3 cup chopped scallions

1/3 cup golden raisins

To make the dressing, in a small bowl whisk together the vinegar, sesame oil, ginger, soy sauce, salt and pepper. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, combine the wild rice, sesame oil and soy sauce with 2 3/4 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then adjust heat to a simmer, and cook, covered loosely, until the rice is tender and fully tender and the grains have fully puffed open, about 50 minutes. Drain the rice in a colander, and transfer to a serving bowl to cool.

When the rice is cool, add the chicken, snow peas, red pepper, scallions and raisins. Add the dressing and toss to coat. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate until serving time.

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