Thursday, August 10, 2006

Brown and Wild Rice Salad with Snow Peas (or Sugar Snap Peas) and Peppers

It's close to the weekend, and Weekend Herb Blogging is back home and his week I'm writing about wild rice, something that's not actually a rice at all, but the seed of a type of grass that grows wild in some places and is cultivated in others. There are four types of wild rice, which grow in various places around the world. Wild rice is a native plant in many parts of North America, and Native Americans called it Manomio, which means "good berry." Other names for the plant include Canadian rice, squaw rice, water oats, blackbird oats, and marsh oats. Wild rice is quite nutritious, being a good source of B vitamins. Wild rice can be expensive, since it is difficult to grow commercially. For that reason, it's often sold mixed with other types of rice.

For this salad I used a mixture of brown and wild rice, and the flavor was excellent. Next time I might use a rice cooker to cook the rice for a slightly more fluffy texture. However, I should tell you that the three friends I served this to raved about it, and the next day one of them told me she thought it was the best part of the meal which included some other very tasty dishes.

Brown and Wild Rice Salad with Snow Peas (or Sugar Snap Peas) and Peppers
(about 8 servings, recipe created by Kalyn)

2 cups brown and wild rice mix
5 cups chicken stock or water
(omit if cooking rice in rice cooker)
2 cups snow peas, cut in 1/2 inch pieces
1 cup sliced green onion (or less)
1 large red bell pepper, cut in 1/2 inch pieces
1 cup chopped pecans (or less)

Dressing Ingredients:
1/2 cup peanut oil
2 T rice vinegar (not seasoned vinegar)
2 T soy sauce
2 tsp. Splenda (for South Beach) or sugar
1 tsp. garlic puree (also called ground garlic)
1 tsp. ginger puree (also called ground ginger, could also use grated ginger root)

Cook brown rice in chicken stock or water for time recommended on package, about 55 minutes for most brands. Be sure all water is absorbed or drain rice well and let cool.

Cut snow peas, red peppers, and green onions and coarsely chop pecans. Mix dressing ingredients. At least one hour before serving, put rice in large bowl and gently mix in snow peas, peppers, and onions. Add enough dressing to moisten well (you may not need all the dressing.) Let salad chill for an hour or longer. Just before serving, stir in pecans and more dressing if the salad seems dry. Serve cold or at room temperature.

South Beach Suggestions:
This salad would be a great side dish for phase two or three of the South Beach Diet. I served it with Grilled Chicken Sanpete (photo coming), Cucumbers Caesar, and My Favorite Summer Tomato Salad with Goat Cheese and Basil Vinaigrette. It was a great dinner with some good friends.
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  1. When I'm home in Minnesota, we can get "real" wild rice for about $4 a pound. Yes, I stock up! Your salad looks great. And your photos: they're stunning! It must be the "new camera"?

  2. Hi Kalyn,
    I like the idea of combining wild and brown rice. I often do a combination of brown rice and barley. I'll try the wild rice for a change in texture.

  3. Alanna, thanks! I love the new camera. I also have a new "toy" that Rand gave me that I'll be posting about soon. I read that wild rice is the "state grain" of Minnesota. I don't think Utah even has a state grain!

    Julie, I'm not sure how the cooking time would compare on the brown rice and wild rice if you purchase them separately. Let me know if you try it.

  4. Kalyn:
    The wild rice looks very interesting. I've tried brown rice before. Will try this soon.

  5. I love wild rice and miss the availability of it when we lived in Minnesota.

  6. I'm all for that Minnesota wild rice!!! That's a lovely looking photo Kalyn. That new camera is great!

  7. Looks good. I've got some wild rice and was wondering how I was going to use it. :) I'll give this a try and come back to tell you what I thought. :)

  8. Hi Kalyn,

    I've been perusing your salads since everything is so fresh right now! Do you have any ideas for subbing the peanut oil? I try to avoid peanuts. Thanks!

  9. I think any kind of vegetable oil or even olive oil would work for the dressing, since there are a lot of other strong flavors. I've been noticing some new types of healthy oils in the supermarket, but haven't tried any of them. I use olive oil about 90% of the time.

  10. Great! I might do grapeseed oil with a splash of toasted sesame oil...maybe even add some black sesame seeds for interest and crunch.

    When you say garlic and ginger for the dressing, do you mean the spices or the pre-chopped/minced fresh stuff? Thanks!

  11. I used ginger pure and garlic puree (both from a jar) for this recipe, but you could also use finely minced fresh ginger or fresh garlic.


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