Shauna at Gluten-Free Girl recently requested gluten-free recipes that include wild rice. I adore the nutty texture and satisfying flavor of wild rice, and I immediately thought of this recipe–one of my first allergen-free, intolerance-free creations I made after I began cooking gluten-free, casein-free, soy-free, and egg-free. Then I thought, I should share it with my readers, as well! I make this salad with turkey, since I have to be soy-free, but vegetarians could utilize extra-firm tofu in lieu of turkey. For those of you with no allergies or intolerances, this is also just a healthy, really tasty meal to sample. I love the flavor and texture of the (natural!) mayo substitute dressing.
For Shauna, this salad would definitely be a tasty one to enjoy this summer when cherry season arrives in the Pacific NW.
Wild Rice Salad with turkey (or tofu) and cherries
1/2 c. dry wild rice and 1 c. dry brown rice or 1 1/2 c. dry wild rice mix (like Lundberg mix)
enough broth (chicken or veggie) for cooking rice
1 T of ghee/butter/olive oil for rice
1 lb. of roasted turkey breast (I used pre-cooked, organic, herb-roasted turkey breast from Whole Foods) or 1 lb. extra firm tofu, pressed under a weight for half an hour
2/3 c. fresh organic cherries
1/4 c. dried organic cherries (or raisins, or other dried fruit in small pieces)
1/4 c. dried organic currants (or raisins, or other dried fruit in small pieces)
1/2 c. nut pieces (preferably pecans, walnuts, or pistachios–if you can’t eat nuts, just omit these!)
1/4 c. rice milk (or other acceptable milk)
2 or 3 dashes of paprika
1-1.5 T lemon juice
2 heaping teaspoons dijon mustard
lettuce mix or arugula to serve as salad base
Put your rice on to cook in veggie or chicken broth and butter. When it is done cooking, turn off the eye or rice cooker and let it cool a bit.
Chop your turkey breast or tofu.
Pit and chop your cherries. This is the pitting method I use: take a wide knife, and turn it on its side. Use the flat side of the knife to press the cherries open. Tear out the pit and chop the cherries. (Wear an apron; they will probably squirt you with lots of blood-red juice.)
Toast your nuts on medium heat for 4-5 minutes, tossing once. (Don’t toast if using pistachios.)
Combine the turkey breast or tofu, cherries, dried fruit, and nuts in a large bowl. Add the rice when it has cooled some.
Peel and chop your avocado. Put the avocado pieces and the rest of the sauce ingredients in a food processor or blender, and give it a whirl. Taste the mix, and see if you think it needs a bit more of something; add it if it does.
Stir the sauce into the turkey mix, and refrigerate if desired. (If you serve this the next day, the avocado may brown–which doesn’t hurt the flavor. You may want to remoisten the salad with a bit of mustard or a mustard/rice milk mix if you wait a day.)
I have served it over different types of fresh greens; it was also good with sides of fall-type veggies like carrots.