Brown and Wild Rice Salad with Dried Cranberries

Good old rice salad is an absolute must at a buffet party. This one, made with wild rice, looks very pretty with the jewelled colours of the dried cranberries and nuts. I have tried to make this salad by cooking the two sorts of rice together, but I’ve found I can’t get the timing right, as the wild rice takes a little longer, so you do need to cook them separately.


Serves 12 as part of the buffet

This recipe is taken from How to Cook Book Three and Delia's Complete Christmas Magazine 2004

Brown and Wild Rice Salad with Dried Cranberries
 8 fl oz (225 ml) brown basmati rice (use a measuring jug)
 4 fl oz (120 ml) wild rice (use a measuring jug)
 2 oz (50 g) dried cranberries
 1 dessertspoon groundnut or other flavourless oil
 2 oz (50 g) walnuts, roughly chopped
 3 medium-sized ripe, red tomatoes
 3 inch (7.5 cm) piece cucumber, cut into small dice (no need to peel)
 1 small red (or yellow) pepper, deseeded and diced
 1 red-skinned dessert apple, washed, cored and finely chopped (no need to peel)
 3 spring onions, finely chopped, including the green parts
 salt and freshly milled black pepper
For the dressing:
 1 clove garlic
 1 teaspoon mustard powder
 3 tablespoons Champagne vinegar (or good-quality white wine vinegar)
 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
 freshly milled black pepper
 1 teaspoon sea salt
 Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 4, 350°F (180°C).
You will also need one small and one large heavy-based frying pan, both with tight-fitting lids.


Begin by heating half the groundnut oil in the smaller frying pan, then add the wild rice and toss it around to coat the grains. Now pour over 8 fl oz (225 ml) of boiling water and add a little salt. Give it one stir, put the lid on and cook over a gentle heat for 50 minutes.

Meanwhile, repeat the process with the brown rice, this time adding 16 fl oz (450 ml) of boiling water – it will take 40-45 minutes for the water to be absorbed and the rice to become tender.

While the rice is cooking, you can make the dressing. Pound the garlic and salt to a creamy paste with a pestle and mortar. Next, work in the mustard powder, then switch to a small whisk and add the vinegar and olive oil. Season with plenty of freshly milled black pepper.

Now you’ll need to toast the walnuts, so spread them out on a baking tray and place them in the oven for 8 minutes, putting a timer on so you don’t forget them.

Meanwhile, place the tomatoes in a heatproof bowl and pour boiling water on to them. After exactly a minute, remove them from the water and slip off their skins (protecting your hands with a cloth if the tomatoes are hot), then halve them, squeeze out the seeds and chop them into small pieces.  Watch how to... here.

When both amounts of rice are cooked, mix them together in a serving bowl and add 3-4 tablespoons of the dressing. Toss the rice around in the dressing and then leave it to cool.

When it’s cool, mix in the cucumber, tomatoes, diced pepper, apple, cranberries, two-thirds of the spring onions and two-thirds of the walnuts.

Drizzle with the remaining dressing and mix again so that everything is thoroughly combined and coated in dressing.

Finally, just scatter the remaining spring onions and walnuts over the surface of the salad.

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