Wild Rice Salad with Apples and Pecans
Nutty, chewy wild rice is a perfect foil for maitake mushrooms, tart apples and earthy kale. Fall flavors make this an ideal vegan swap for stuffing at Thanksgiving or harvest meals. Its sturdy ingredients mean you can make it up to 2 days in advance. It’s also ideal for toting to school or office for a quick lunch — add chickpeas or another plant-based protein to make it a meal.
Serves 6 to 8
- 1 cup dry wild rice
- 1¾ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
- 1 cup raw pecan halves
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- ¼ yellow onion, chopped
- 6 ounces maitake (hen of the woods) mushrooms, pulled apart lengthwise into bite-size pieces
- 1 tart apple, such as Braeburn, cored and cut into ¾-inch cubes
- ½ bunch Lacinato (Tuscan) kale, stemmed and cut in half lengthwise
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons snipped fresh chives
Cook rice by bringing 2⅓ cups water and 1 teaspoon salt to a boil in a small saucepan. Stir in rice, lower heat so water just simmers, cover, and cook until rice grains are tender and burst open, about 45 minutes. Drain off any extra liquid.
Meanwhile, toast pecans over medium-high heat in a large, dry skillet. Stir often and cook until you begin to smell their nutty aroma, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and transfer to a cutting board to cool. Coarsely chop nuts.
Add oil to the skillet and return it to medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions begin to turn golden brown in spots, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the mushrooms and apples and cook until they soften but still have a firm bite, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in pecans and kale and cook, stirring, just until the kale begins to wilt, about 1 more minute.
Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in lemon juice, salt and pepper. Cool to room temperature.
Transfer rice to a large bowl. Add the mushroom mixture and toss to combine. Serve at room temperature or chilled, sprinkled with chives.