Wild Rice Salad with Pomegranate & Satsuma Mandarins

Wild Rice Salad with Satsuma Mandarins

Two delicious fruits are currently in season: Pomegranates and Satsuma Oranges.

When I was a kid my dad would buy pomegranate as soon as it appeared in stores. Back then the fruit wasn’t “cool” and no one was talking about how it was a good source of antioxidants. In fact, I would take it to school for lunch and other kids would ask, “What is that?” (I got that a lot — I always had the most “interesting” brown bag lunches.) I’ve adopted my dad’s habit, and hop on pomegranate season as soon as the fruits look bright and red and juicy. I put them in salads (like this one with kale and delicata squash or this one with brussels sprouts) and add the juice to smoothies. My favorite is my dad’s Pomegranate Sorbet (!), but this wild rice salad is a a healthier way to enjoy the flavor.

Wild Rice Salad with Satsuma Mandarins
Wild Rice Salad with Satsuma Mandarins

When it comes to citrus fruits, I’ve never been the biggest fan — it’s not that I don’t like oranges, there are just other fruits I like more. BUT during citrus season, when everything is at it’s peak and you can find blood oranges and ruby red grapefruits and mandarins… that’s when I get on board. Satsuma Mandarins are the best, aren’t they?!

These two fruits together sing winter to me — they are a pop of fresh in an otherwise dull season, little gems in this wild rice salad.

Wild rice, by the way, is another key here. It’s nuttier than white rice and gives this salad great texture and flavor. Either use leftover rice or cook the rice ahead of time. You can do this in an Instant Pot (affiliate link!) by placing 1 cup water and 1 cup wild rice in the pot and setting it to High Pressure for 28 minutes, and then allowing the pressure to release naturally.

The whole thing is tossed with arugula (which is why it can be called a salad 😏). The bitterness of the greens are a good balance to the sweetness of the fruit and nuts. Add toasted pecans on top of that, and every bite is a combo of nutty and fresh and savory and sweet.

Wild Rice Salad with Satsuma Mandarins

Wild Rice Salad with Pomegranate & Satsuma Mandarins

Published January 10, 2018 by
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Serves: 6   |    Active Time: 20 minutes



Ingredients:

  • 3-4 cups baby arugula
  • 2 cups cooked and cooled wild rice (leftover rice does great!)
  • 3-4 Satsuma Mandarins, peeled
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate perils 
  • 3/4 cups toasted pecans
  • Salt & pepper to taste

  • For the vinaigrette:
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon honey 
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • Directions:

    1. Make the vinaigrette: Add all ingredients for the vinaigrette to a jar. Close jar and shake to combine.
    2. Assemble salad: In a large salad bowl, combine arugula, wild rice, mandarins, pomegranate perils, and toasted pecans.
    3. Drizzle vinaigrette over rice salad to taste, adding additional salt & pepper to your preferences. Toss and serve.

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    Warm Gruyère, Roasted Garlic & Thyme Dip

    Warm Gruyère, Roasted Garlic & Thyme Dip

    It is about 21°F this morning. The cold always me makes me crave crave warm, cozy dishes. This gruyère, roasted garlic and thyme dip  is just the thing to take to a New Years Eve cocktail party, or simply enjoy on the sofa after a long day, with your feet kicked up (build a fire in that fireplace, while you’re at it!).

    I went to a cocktail party this fall (potluck style), and there were at least three different spinach and artichoke dips! Tasting and comparing them all was fun, but really? Three versions? Seems everyone was on the same page that night. I LOVE spinach artichoke dip, and this dip hits the same craving but mixes it up a bit.

    Warm Gruyère, Roasted Garlic & Thyme Dip
    Warm Gruyère, Roasted Garlic & Thyme Dip

    The first step in this recipe is to roast a whole head of garlic. Have you roasted garlic before? YUM. It becomes golden and soft and spreadable. I roasted an extra head of garlic while I was making the one for this dip just so we could have it. It makes the best garlic garlic bread or compound butter. You may as well make the most of having the oven on!

    Surprisingly, even with a whole head of garlic in this dip, it’s a subtle flavor — not a “I’m going to be breathing garlic for the rest of the night,” flavor. The gruyère and cream cheese soften it. Thyme adds an herbaceous note. The leftovers (if you have leftovers — in the realm of cheese that’s a rare story) do well as a sandwich spread or tucked inside of an omelette with sautéd mushrooms.

    Warm Gruyère, Roasted Garlic & Thyme Dip
    Warm Gruyère, Roasted Garlic & Thyme Dip

    The new year is almost here! Wishing everyone a joyful 2019!

    Warm Gruyère, Roasted Garlic & Thyme Dip

    Published December 7, 2018 by
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    Serves: 6   |    Active Time: 75 minutes



    Ingredients:

  • 1 head of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil or avocado oil
  • 8 ounces sour cream, at room temperature
  • 2 ounces cream cheese
  • 2 ounces gruyère, finely grated, plus 2 tablespoons for topping
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon minced parsley for garnish
  • For serving: crudités, crackers, crusty bread, etc.

  • Directions:

    1. First, roast the garlic: preheat oven to 350° F. Chop the very top off of the head of garlic. Place on a baking sheet and drizzle with the olive/avocado oil. Place in oven and roast 45 minutes, until cloves are golden and soft.
    2. Allow garlic to cool until you can easily touch it without burning your hands, about 15 minutes. Squeeze garlic cloves into a medium-sized mixing bowl, discarding of the garlic papers. Mash garlic.
    3. Add sour cream, cream cheese, 2 ounces gruyère, salt, black pepper, and thyme to bowl. Use a fork to mix until well combined.
    4. Spread cheese mixture in a ramekin or cocotte dish. Do not over fill—make sure there is at least 1/4-inch of extra room in the dish to avoid bubbling over. Top with remaining 2 tablespoons gruyère, and place in oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, until cheese is bubbling and just starting to brown in spots on the top.
    5. Remove from oven and allow to cool 10 minutes before sprinkling with minced parsley and serving with crudités, crackers, or crusty bread.
    6. Leftovers? Eat them cold as a spread on toast, sandwiches, etc, or re-warm the dip in the microwave for 30-second intervals or in an oven until warmed through.

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    Gluten-Free Chocolate Pecan Thumbprint Cookies

    Gluten-Free Chocolate Pecan Thumbprint Cookies
    Gluten-Free Chocolate Pecan Thumbprint Cookies

    Happy holidays! Hoping everyone is having a beautiful day, where ever you are and whatever you are up to. We’re taking it easy, with no fancy plans, aside from maybe making a fresh batch of eggnog. I am so thankful to have a break from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the year — time to slow down, get outside (fingers crossed for some warmer weather later this week! 🤞), and even some creative recipe development without the time constraints of the normal work week (been working on lots of videos! Check out this one for homemade loose leaf chai! Also still trying to use up all of the spaghetti squash harvest from the garden). And, eating these gluten-free chocolate pecan thumbprint cookies!

    These cookies.

    Just almond flour, honey, butter, salt and baking soda combine to make a surprisingly soft but sturdy and satisfying cookie, something I discovered when I made these Paleo chocolate vanilla pinwheel cookies two years ago (2016 seems like so long ago! We had just moved into our house, I remember rolling out the cookie dough next to the wall between our kitchen and dining table. Just a few weeks later, we removed the wall and the house looks about 1,000x better! But I digress...)

    Thumbprint cookies — a Swedish treat traditionally made with a raspberry filling - have always looked festive to me. When filled with raspberry jam, they gleam in the light like little gems. But raspberry is a very summery flavor, and my inner chocoholic screamed “ganache!!” and I gave in easily, filling each with a melted 85% Dark Chocolate Lindt Bar.

    Gluten-Free Chocolate Pecan Thumbprint Cookies
    Gluten-Free Chocolate Pecan Thumbprint Cookies

    The result is similar to those chocolate kiss-topped peanut butter cookies we’ve all had at many a Christmas party, but with more delicate flavors. Toasted pecans with chocolate is an unparalleled combo in desserts in my book, one that fills your kitchen with the smells of caramelly nuts and fruity cacao scent.

    The cookie dough in this recipe is fairly flexible when it comes to flour. I tested using 1/2 cup gluten-free measure for measure flour (King Arthur flour) in place of 1/2 cup of almond flour and the result was almost the same as using all almond flour. That’s not to say I’ve tested everything! But I’m confident you’ll love these. The dough will crack a bit when you go to make the thumbprints, but that doesn’t impact the cookie much. We’re not going for perfect here — once you add the chocolate and the pecans, they’ll look (and be) absolutely delicious!

    Gluten-Free Chocolate Pecan Thumbprint Cookies
    Gluten-Free Chocolate Pecan Thumbprint Cookies

    Gluten-Free Chocolate Pecan Thumbprint Cookies

    Published December 25, 2018 by
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    Yield: 15   |    Active Time: 40 minutes



    Ingredients:

  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil or butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • For the filling:
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips (or a chopped up dark chocolate bar)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil or butter
  • 1/2 cup pecan halves, toasted

  • Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
    2. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine almond flour, salt, and baking soda and whisk briefly to combine.
    3. Add melted oil/butter, honey, and vanilla and stir dough with a spatula until a stiff dough forms.
    4. Shape cookies: scoop cookie dough by the tablespoonful into the palm of your hand. Shape into a sphere, and then place on a prepared cookie sheet. Using a smaller spoon or you thumb, make an indent in the center of the cookie. The dough may crack a bit around the edges, which is fine; if you like, you can carefully press it together with your fingers.
    5. Repeat step 4 until all of the dough is used. Leave at least 1/2 inch between each cookie on the baking sheet.
    6. Place cookies in oven on middle rack and bake for 10-13 minutes. Cookies should be golden and fragrant. Set aside to cool.
    7. While cookies cool, make the filling. Melt chocolate and 1 tablespoon butter/oil in a microwave safe bowl in the microwave by heating at 30-second intervals, stirring between each round, or in a double boiler.
    8. When cookies have cooled enough to be easily handled, carefully spoon chocolate into the center of each, and place a single pecan half in the center of each. Allow chocolate to set for 10-15 minutes, and then serve or store in an air-tight contain for a week.

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