Harvest Wild Rice Salad with Pumpkin Vinaigrette

 

 

pumpkins

Although temperatures have only slightly dropped from triple digit summer heat, this time of year begins to whisper that Fall is just around the corner, and around here that means pumpkins!  Last year one of my Kitchen Keeper posts was titled Pumpkin Everything*  so it is not surprising we begin to make pumpkin bread and muffins as well as pies, cornbread and pumpkin bread pudding.  Thanksgiving 2012 I made a tasty pumpkin soup, and we have already decided that this wild rice dish will be part of our 2013 holiday table. It combines flavors that just sing Happy Thanksgiving:  green onions, celery, cranberries, and of course, pumpkin. It can be made ahead which is a bonus as well.

Very easy to prepare and ranking high in both nutrition and flavor, Wild Rice Salad with Pumpkin Vinaigrette is one more way to love cooking with pumpkins!  I like to double the vinaigrette ingredients so that I have leftover dressing to use for a spinach salad or chopped romaine with apples.  More than a side dish, this is a wonderful main dish that you can add to with some grilled chicken strips. This one truly is a Kitchen Keeper.

Harvest Wild Rice Salad with Pumpkin Vinaigrette
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 (6 oz.) box long-grain and wild rice mix
  • 1/2 cup sweetened dried cranberries
  • 1 cup finely chopped celery
  • 3/4 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/4 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 T. honey
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1/4 t. dried thyme
  • 1/4 t. pepper
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan 8 to 10 minutes or until toasted and fragrant.
  2. Prepare rice according to package directions; let cool completely (about 25 minutes). Stir in cranberries, celery, green onions, and toasted pecans.
  3. Whisk together canned pumpkin, next 5 ingredients, and 2 T. water. Gradually whisk in olive oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking until blended.
  4. Pour vinaigrette over rice mixture; stir gently to coat. Cover and chill 2 to 24 hours. Serve at room temperature.

Recipe Source:  Southern Living, November 2009

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