When served warm, this salad is hearty enough to eat during even the coldest winter months – but it's equally as nice served chilled at a picnic or other warm-weather gathering! Crunchy almonds, chewy cranberries and sun-dried tomatoes, tangy olives, and hearty wild rice provide an interesting mix of textures that will have you craving more!
Green Bean and Wild Rice Salad [Vegan]
- 1 cup wild rice
- 1 teaspoon salt
- About 6 cups water
- 1/2 pound green beans, ends trimmed
- 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained, chopped (reserve some oil for dressing)
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
- 1/4 cup red onion, finely diced
- 1/4 cup kalamata olives, seeds removed, quartered
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
- 2 tablespoons sliced almonds, lightly toasted
- 2 small cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon whole grain Dijon mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons oil from jar of sun-dried tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons sherry wine vinegar
- In a 3-quart saucepan, bring water and salt to a boil. Add green beans to water and cook for 3-4 minutes, until crisp-tender.
- Meanwhile, prepare an ice bath. In a medium bowl add 2-3 cups of ice and equal amounts of water.
- With tongs or a slotted spoon, transfer green beans to the ice bath to halt cooking and preserve their bright green color.
- Add rice to the green bean water and stir. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 30 minutes with lid slightly askew to allow steam to escape. Strain water from rice and return rice to pot, cover with lid and set back on burner with the heat off for 20-30 minutes. Rice will steam and soften during this time.
- Remove green beans from ice bath. Dry them with paper towels. Cut green beans into bite-size pieces and transfer to a large bowl.
- Add sun-dried tomatoes, scallions, red onion, kalamata olives, dried cranberries and Italian parsley. Toss to combine.
- In a small bowl combine garlic, mustard, salt, pepper, oil from sun-dried tomatoes, olive oil and sherry wine vinegar. Briskly whisk to emulsify dressing. Set aside.
- Add wild rice to green bean mixture. Toss to combine. Add dressing, toss to combine. Just before serving, sprinkle salad with toasted almonds.
This salad will hold up for several days in the refrigerator – even with the dressing. I actually think it's better the second day. To maintain the crunch of the almonds, garnish this salad just before serving.