Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Fruit, Rice, and Seed Salad

What do you take to a Wild Boar Roast?

That was what I asked myself during the last week before the end of the semester, when one of the other women in my program invited me to come join her (and 20 other people) for a boar roasting--an in-law had provided the Alabama boar at Thanksgiving and in May my friend and her husband had yet to eat the thing. Fortunately, the (well meaning) in-law had only given them 1/2 the pig.

Since I didn't plan on eating the boar and the woman who was hosting the roast is an excellent baker and cook, I wanted something 1) I would eat and 2) she probably wouldn't already make--which ruled out all desserts, hummus, and bread.

The next question was, "What do I have on hand?" I'd been trying to eat down the perishables (and non) since I wasn't going to be there over the summer and didn't really want to run out to the grocery store for anything.

I flipped through a couple of my Moosewood cookbooks and Madhur Jaffery's World Vegetarian until I found a couple of rice salad recipes I thought sounded good, but not great (mostly because I didn't have all the ingredients for either salad on hand). I tried to figure out what I thought would be the best aspects of both salads and combine them to create this dish. The sesame seeds were a last minute addition--and add a nice, nutty flavor to the entire dish. If you can't eat sesame seeds because of diverticulosis, try substituting 1/2 teaspoon of the canola oil for toasted sesame oil.

Orange Rice Salad with Fruit
1 1/2 cups basmati rice (1/2 cup may be wild rice, if you have it)
3 cups water
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon frozen pineapple-orange juice concentrate, or the zest of one orange


2 tablespoons of frozen pineapple-orange juice concentrate, mixed with 4-5 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons canola oil
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary, or ½ teaspoon dried
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

½- ¾ cup currants, dried cranberries, or raisins
10 ounces canned pineapple chunks, cut in half if desired
1 small tart apple, chopped
2 tablespoons roasted sesame seeds

In a small saucepan with a tight fitting lid, bring to a boil, the water, rice, ½ teaspoon salt and 1 tablespoons pineapple-orange concentrate. When wells start to form in the rice, cover tightly and cook on low for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow the rice to rest for at least 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl whisk together the ingredients for the dressing and set aside. When the rice is done, place it in a large bowl and allow to cool at least 10 more minutes. Add the dressing and toss well. Stir in the fruits and sesame seeds. Set aside at room temperature for at least 30 minutes to allow flavors to blend. Serve at room temperature.


  1. Nikki-
    As a student and vegetarian as well, it is great to have websites like yours to refer to for good recipes when time is short (your baked falafel will be a hit this fall). I think you’d be interested in Meatless Monday’s website which has a plethora of delicious meatless recipes in various categories, in addition to nutrition facts and health news: www.meatlessmonday.com. A project of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Meatless Monday encourages cutting meat consumption to decrease the risk of preventable diseases as well as decrease our carbon footprint. For the history and science of the campaign, also check out the Youtube video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bpnKeYmR1NM.