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This Make Ahead Wild Rice Salad is perfect for any occasion or season and is especially good to pair with any seasonal or holiday charcuterie board. Its’ simple base of wild rice, shallots, and fennel with a maple syrup and yellow miso paste dressing make it perfect for pairing with any meat (chicken, beef, pork, seafood), nuts, seasonal fruit, dried fruit, and any salty or sweet combinations you can think of! | #wildrice #healthysalad #healthydinner #picnicsalad #cheeseboard #megiswell #meganwellsphotography | www.megiswell.com

Make Ahead Wild Rice Salad

This Make Ahead Wild Rice Salad is perfect for any occasion or season and is especially good to pair with any seasonal or holiday charcuterie board. Its’ simple base of wild rice, shallots, and fennel with maple syrup and yellow miso paste dressing make it perfect for pairing with any meat (chicken, beef, pork, seafood), nuts, seasonal fruit, dried fruit, and any salty or sweet combinations you can think of!

Course Sides and Snacks
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Inactive Cooking Time 55 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4
Author Megan Wells

Ingredients

Salad Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 shallot diced
  • 1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced* reserve the fronds for later
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1/2 cup white wine*
  • 1 cup wild rice*
  • 4 1/2 inch Parmesan cheese rinds squares*
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt

Dressing Ingredients

  • 1/2 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/2 tablespoon yellow miso paste
  • 1/2 tablespoon unsweetened rice vinegar
  • 1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil

Instructions

Salad Instructions

  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once it begins to shimmer, add the shallot and cook for 2 minutes.
  2. Add the fennel and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until it has softened.
  3. Toss in the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds.
  4. Pour in the white wine and stir, breaking up any bits on the bottom of the pan. Add the wild rice and the parmesan cheese rinds and stir until coated and mixed well.
  5. Pour the vegetable broth in along with the salt and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook for 45 minutes + another 40 minutes if you desire softer rice.
  6. Turn off the heat and let the rice sit covered for 10 minutes while you prepare the dressing.
  7. Transfer the rice to a large serving bowl and drizzle with the dressing, mixing well. Mix in finely chopped reserved fennel fronds or any other mixings* you would like.

Dressing Instructions

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a mason jar and shake until emulsified. Add to the salad and mix well.

Recipe Notes

  • If you've never cooked with fennel before, it can be a little intimidating figuring out how to use it. I watched this YouTube video: How to Cut Up Fennel - Cooking with Melissa Clark | The New York Times
  • The basic rule I use for cooking with wine: I try to use the cheapest possible BUT I make sure I actually like how it tastes. Because if it tastes horrible by itself, it's certainly not going to do your dish any favors. 
  • Try cooking the wild rice for 45 minutes first. If you feel like the grains are still to hard cook longer. I typically cook wild rice for another 40 minutes.
  • I make sure to save cheese rinds from hard cheeses like parmesan. You know the parts: you've eaten every possible part of the cheese and the only thing that's left is that almost plastic/wood looking rind at the edge. They can help add a lot of flavor to sauces. I used a 2-inch long piece that I cut up into 4 small 1/2 inch squares. Be careful cutting: it's really hard. You could just drop the whole piece in without cutting it into smaller portions. I remove them after I've finished cooking: they don't taste very good after giving all the goodies to the rice.
  • This wild rice salad is meant to change with the seasons. It tastes great with fresh fruit, dried fruit, salty or sweetened nuts, cheese from cheese boards, and used as a filling for squash bowls, or stuffed into chicken, pork, or beef. I first made it for Thanksgiving as a way for people to make their own stuffed acorn squash bowls from the Thanksgiving charcuterie board: preserved meats, cheeses, nuts, roasted grapes, dehydrated fruit, etc.