A vibrant wild rice salad with sautéed rainbow chard and shallots, dried cherries, pepitas, and blood orange rounds, drizzled with a pink-hued blood orange vinaigrette.
The girls visited their grandparents last weekend. Instead of planning our own travels or romantic nights out, Brian and I usually play it by ear on our weekends alone — savoring the chance to spend our time the way we did before kids. Last minute plans, wandering, late drinks with friends.
The wandering’s my favorite. Life with kids means you’re home a lot more than you’d like to be. Without them, just taking in a starry night can be revelatory.
One thing we definitely did not do over the weekend was cook, save a big pot of popcorn. My lack of cooking meant a lack of recipe testing and photographing too, so today I’m sharing a favorite from my old Salad Days column on Food52.
This salad’s as delicious as it is virtuous. Rainbow chard, wild rice, sautéed shallots and rainbow chard, wild rice, toasted pepitas, dried cherries, and blood orange rounds are drizzled in a pretty pink blood orange vinaigrette. I nominate this nutty, bright salad for everything from work lunch to fancy holiday parties.
- 1 tablespoon blood orange zest plus 3 tablespoons juice
- 2 tablespoons minced shallot
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup dry wild rice
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt plus more to taste
- 1/4 cup raw hulled pepitas
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 shallot, sliced
- 1 bunch rainbow chard, stems trimmed, chopped
- 1/4 cup dried tart cherries
- 3 medium blood oranges, peeled and sliced into rounds
- 2 tablespoons minced chives
- ground black pepper
To make vinaigrette, in a small bowl, whisk to combine blood orange zest and juice, shallot, Dijon, and 1/4 teaspoon sea salt. Slowly whisk in olive oil and then beat vigorously until dressing is thick and emulsified.
Cook wild rice according to instructions or bring 3 1/2 cups water to a boil over high heat. Add rice and a generous pinch of sea salt, allow mixture to bubble up, then cover, turn heat to low, and simmer 45 minutes or until rice is cooked to al dente. Strain, place rice back into saucepan, and toss with 1/4 cup blood orange vinaigrette.
Place a medium skillet over medium heat. Add pepitas and cook, shaking pan often, just until the first few pop, 2 - 3 minutes. Remove pepitas, set aside, and replace skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil and shallots; sauté 2 minutes or until edges begin to brown. Add chard, along with a pinch or two of sea salt, and sauté 4 minutes or just until chard begins to wilt.
Toss warm shallots and chard with rice. Add dried cherries and more dressing to taste. Add sea salt as needed.
Plate salad, tucking blood orange slices throughout. Finish with a drizzle of dressing, toasted pepitas, minced chives, and freshly ground black pepper.