Fabulous wild rice salad with chicken.

I know: Salad for dinner. It just sounds so, I dunno, uninspiring. But I love a really hearty salad for dinner—one that’s full of flavor, texture (um, and maybe a bit of cheese) along with greens and veggies. We’re not talking iceberg-and-carrots here, folks. No, I wanted to create a stick-to-your-ribs salad that incorporates a bit of protein (chicken, in this case) plus whole grains (wild rice) and a creamy dressing that packs a punch. Even better: This salad stores and travels well (just add the dressing right before you serve it), so it’s an easy make-ahead recipe and it’d be great pack-your-lunch option. The salad dressing, with its pretty pale green color and kick of garlic, is super flexible—it’s joined my basic vinaigrette recipe and my best blue-cheese dressing recipe as standards in my kitchen.

hearty wild rice, orzo and chicken salad

(serves 4)

1 cup cooked wild rice
1 cup cooked orzo
1 1/2 cups diced cooked chicken (grilled or store-bought rotisserie)
1 red bell pepper
1/2 apple
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/2 head radicchio
1 head Belgian endive
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese (optional)

1 recipe creamy basil salad dressing

Place wild rice, orzo and chicken in a large bowl. Dice the bell pepper and apple into roughly 1/2-inch chunks, and add those to the bowl. Slice the radicchio half lengthwise, then crosswise into thin strips; slice the endive in half lengthwise, then crosswise into thin strips. Add radicchio, endive and dried cranberries to the bowl, along with the blue cheese if you’re using it [of course you are]. Drizzle with half the creamy basil dressing and toss to coat, adding more dressing if needed. Season well with salt and pepper to taste.

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farro and roasted butternut squash salad
a hearty salad with many variations 

6 thoughts on “Fabulous wild rice salad with chicken.

  1. Hi Bryn – Are you able to include nutritional information with your recipes? Just curious.

    Also, I need advice on how to cook fish so it is flaky and mosit and not rubbery. Any ideas?

    Thanks.
    Heather

    • Hey, Heather! I post a lot of recipes on SparkPeople.com (SparkRecipes) and on the DailySpark.com. Those have nutritional information. I don’t generally post nutrition info here, because it’s kind of a pain to calculate. But if you want info on a specific recipe, just give me a shout and I’ll do my best! Most of the recipes you’ll find here tend toward the healthy side. For example, I do a lot of dressings with Greek yogurt.

    • Heather — cooking fish perfectly is easy once you get the hang of it. The general rule is 10 minutes of cooking time per 1 inch of thickness (measure at the thickest part). If it’s rubbery, it’s probably a little overcooked, which is an easy thing to do. We love to grill fish, because it’s easy to keep an eye on it. You’ll know the fish is done perfectly, however you cook it, when it flakes nicely when you take a fork to it. Here’s a good resource for cooking fish different ways: roasting, broiling, grilling. http://www.originalfishcompany.com/cooking-seafood.htm#Bake

      We also have a really good seasoning blend for fish that we love; it’s from Penzey’s, and it’s called Fox Point Seasoning (a blend of chives, shallots and scallions)
      http://www.penzeys.com/cgi-bin/penzeys/p-penzeysfoxpoint.html

  2. Bryn,
    Hmmm, a way to re-introduce radicchio to my kids. I tried some from our farm share, grilled, and it remains the one thing that the kids tell the pediatrician that they won’t eat, when asked about their food likes and dislikes.
    Thanks!

  3. Pingback: Farro and summer vegetable salad. | writes4food | recipes and wisdom from a Midwestern kitchen

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