A Side for Salmon

One of the things I love about summer in Seattle is the opportunity to buy and cook fresh salmon. I’ll post some advice on how to prepare and cook salmon in future posts, but today I wanted to share a recipe for a side dish that goes particularly well with a simple piece of grilled salmon or halibut.

I served this at a recent birthday party for 25 and it was a hit; then, when I told one of my weekly clients about the menu, she requested that I make the same thing for her this week.

The recipe below makes 1.5 quarts, but it’s easy to double (or triple) if you are serving a larger crowd.

Wild Rice and Celery Salad with Dried Cherries
Makes 1.5 quarts
1 hour total cooking time

½ cup wild rice
4 cups cold water (season water with 1/2 teaspoon of salt if desired)
2 stalks celery, sliced
½ cup minced shallots
2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme
½ cup chopped fresh parsley
¾ cup dried cherries, whole or halved

Vinaigrette
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper

Place uncooked wild rice and water in a large saucepan.  Add salt (optional).  Bring to a hard boil.

Reduce heat, cover tightly and boil gently for 30 minutes. Shut off heat, let stand on burner for 25-35 minutes until the wild rice reaches desired texture. Drain excess water.

While the rice is cooking, prepare the next five ingredients and place in a medium bowl.

Mix vinaigrette ingredients in a separate container (I like to use a lid with a jar, so I can just shake it up).

When rice has cooled, toss celery mixture in with rice. Pour vinaigrette over rice and stir.  Adjust seasoning to taste.

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