Healthy whole grain wild rice, loads of citrus, crunchy toasted almonds, dried cranberries and a delicious citrus vinaigrette. This Citrus and Wild Rice Salad is perfect for a meatless main dish or served as a side dish alongside your favorite protein!
Thanks to USA Rice for sponsoring this post. I was asked to participate in the “#ThinkRice ” campaign as a member of the Healthy Aperture Blogger Network. As always all opinions are my own.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day friends! I’m switching things up and sharing a new recipe with you today instead of tomorrow, hope I didn’t get your hopes up and make you think it was Friday. I’m so excited to share today’s recipe for a couple reasons, number one and most importantly being this Citrus and Wild Rice Salad is SO.DANG.GOOD!
I made this salad a couple weeks ago and I have to say it was one of the most fun salads I’ve made in a while. Yes, I’m weird and think making a salad can be fun. Not all salads are fun to make, like the boring lettuce, carrots and tomatoes kind. However, when you make a salad full of beautiful and colorful ingredients, lots of texture and manage to not only make it healthy, but taste amazing too, that’s when making a salad is fun!
On top of being loaded with all the colorful citrus I could fill my basket with at the store, this salad also uses crunchy, chewy, nutty wild rice. I love adding rice to salads for a couple reasons. First, it takes a salad that might be more of a side dish and turns it into one that is hearty enough to be a complete meal. Secondly, U.S.-grown rice provides more than 15 essential vitamins and minerals and research has shown that people who consume rice are less likely to fill up on sugar and fat and more on vegetables and fruit…and this salad is loaded with fruit!
March is National Nutrition Month and I thought it would be the perfect time to showcase this Citrus and Wild Rice Salad. I chose to use a mix of U.S. grown wild rice and brown rice because of the texture and nuttiness it lends to the salad. If you can’t find wild rice or a wild rice blend or your family doesn’t care for it, I would suggest using a long grain brown and/or white rice. This wild rice salad is perfect if you’re looking for a meatless main dish or it works great served alongside some lean protein. So grab a bag of U.S. grown wild rice and fill your grocery basket with sweet citrus and treat your body to this fun to make, beautiful to look at and of course delicious to eat, Citrus and Wild Rice Salad!
Citrus and Wild Rice Salad
- 1 cup uncooked wild rice blend, U.S. grown
- 2 Cara Cara oranges, peeled and segmented
- 1 blood orange, peeled and segmented
- 1 navel orange, peeled and segmented
- 1 Clementine, peeled and separated
- 1/2 cup diced celery
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1 green onion, thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons toasted sliced almonds
- 1/3 cup citrus juice squeezed from the remains of the citrus used in the salad
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons honey or agave if you want the salad to be vegan
- 1 teaspoon white or golden balsamic vinegar
- Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
- Cook the wild rice according to package instructions omitting any butter or oil if called for.
- Once the rice is cooked let it cool while you prepare the rest of the salad.
- Using a sharp knife peel the citrus, removing all the white pith.
- Cut between the membranes and add the citrus sections to a large bowl bowl.
- Add the celery, green onion, dried cranberries and almonds to the citrus.
- Add in the cooled wild rice and toss everything together with a large spoon.
- In a small bowl whisk together all of the ingredients for the citrus vinaigrette then pour the desired amount onto the salad.
- Toss everything together and taste for seasoning adding more salt and pepper if needed.
- Serve immediately or cover with plastic wrap and chill until ready to eat.
If you are making the salad ahead of time omit adding the almonds until right before serving so that they remain crunchy.
Feel free to use any variety of citrus that you can find or prefer.