While perusing favorite author Patricia Cornwell’s official website, I found a news byte in which she was interviewed by Parade.com. It included her favorite picnic recipe for a wild rice salad with cashews. I made the salad and it was delicious; however, as most foodies do, I changed it a little to suit my and my family’s tastes. My recipe is quicker and easier to prepare as well as crunchier with more fresh veggies and a little less fat. Almost, But Not Quite, Patricia Cornwell’s Wild Rice Cashew Salad can be made several days ahead, and is perfect to take to a pot-luck gathering or to serve at an outdoor get-together. It’s also perfect for Christmas and other holiday parties, since it has flecks of red and green, and will look festive on a holiday buffet.
The actual article with Patricia Cornwell’s original recipe is a fun, short read; she was recently named the second most successful crime writer (just barely behind David Baldacci) by the Daily Mail, a popular British newspaper, with good reason – her suspense-thriller books are incredible - perfect, in fact, to read while eating this yummy salad.
1 cup wild rice, (2 4-ounce packages)
4 1/2 cups chicken broth, or 4 bouillon cubes dissolved in 4 1/2 cups water
1 cup coarsely chopped cashews
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
4 green onions, sliced
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon Oriental sesame oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Place the wild rice in a fine strainer and rinse under cold water, drain well, and transfer to a rice cooker.
- Add the chicken broth and start the rice cooker.
- Alternately, if a rice cooker isn't available, bring the chicken broth to a boil in a saucepan and stir in the rice; when the mixture boils again, cover the pan, turn the heat to low, and let cook 40-45 minutes or until most of the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is tender.
- Whichever method is used, transfer the cooked rice to a colander and drain off any excess liquid, then place in a large bowl.
- Meanwhile, spread the cashews on a microwave-safe plate; microwave in 1 minute increments, stirring after each, until the nuts smell good and are lightly toasted (They won't turn as brown as when toasting in the oven); set aside to cool.
- When the rice is room temperature, stir in the fresh vegetables and toss with the dressing.
- If making ahead, cover and refrigerate two hours or up to 3 days; if serving within four hours, stir in the cashews before refrigerating; otherwise, stir in the cashews just before serving.
- Dressing: Place all ingredients in the blender or MagicBullet; blend until well mixed. If no blender is available, whisk the ingredients together.
Amount Per Serving
Calories 165 Calories from Fat 86
Percent Total Calories From: Fat 52% Protein 11% Carb. 37%
Nutrient Amount per Serving
Total Fat 10 g
Saturated Fat 2 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 647 mg
Total Carbohydrate 15 g
Dietary Fiber 0 g
Sugars 0 g
Protein 4 g
Vitamin A 26% Vitamin C 71% Calcium 0% Iron 5%