Fall River Hotel Wild Rice Salad

We just love wild rice! It's from California, it doesn't really taste like a starch, and it's glorious... rebellious even!

Active Work Time: 30 minutes

Total Preparation Time: 1 hour plus 2 hours cooling

This is the recipe prepared by Sandra Jensen at the Fall River Hotel in Fall River Mills, a prime wild rice-growing area. Similar dishes are served throughout northeastern California. The use of bottled dressing helps this come together easily.

1 cup wild rice

6 cups water

1/2 tablespoon chicken base

1/2 cup diced red, green or yellow bell pepper, or combination of all 3

1/2 onion, diced

1/2 cup sliced white mushrooms

1 cup chopped broccoli florets

1 cup chopped cauliflower

1 cup chopped tomatoes

1/2 cup bottled Italian salad dressing, or more to taste

Green leaf lettuce, for serving

Avocado slices, for serving

* Combine rice and 4 cups water in medium saucepan. Bring to boil over medium heat, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until almost all liquid is gone, 40 minutes.

* Mix chicken base with 2 cups water. Add bell pepper, onion and mushrooms. Stir into cooked rice and continue to simmer over low heat until almost dry, 20 minutes. (Rice may be done even if there is liquid left; it should be puffed and a little crunchy.) Remove from heat, and let cool 1 hour. Refrigerate 1 hour (but no more than 1 day) until ready to serve.

* Just before serving, bring medium pot of water to boil over high heat and add broccoli and cauliflower. Cook 1 minute, then immerse in ice water. Drain.

* Stir tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower and Italian dressing to taste into rice mixture. Serve on bed of green leaf lettuce and garnish with avocado slices if desired.

Variation: Stir in 1 cup cooked bay shrimp or diced grilled chicken (2 breasts) with fresh vegetables.

8 servings. Each serving: 159 calories; 293 mg sodium; 0 mg cholesterol; 7 grams fat; 20 grams carbohydrates; 4 grams protein; 0.81 gram fiber.

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