Wild Rice Salad with Mozzarella Cheese and Red Grapefruit Vinaigrette

Wild rice salad

Rescuing my lunch since...

Since I am at home full time, lunch could be a stressful time of the day.  It is true that I wait until I’m hungry to think about what I’m going to have so desperation is my pal while I’m in front of the fridge.  And when I think of the time it will take to whip up anything and doing the dishes afterward, it makes me grab anything under my radar to just survive until dinnertime comes when I know I’ll have more time to cook.

One day though, a few years ago, after I started to cook full time and odds were high on having rice leftovers, I thought to make myself a rice salad, which at that time wasn’t that obvious because every time I mentioned it to someone, people were really smitten, making me feel really accomplished!  I will throw whatever I have on hand; steamed asparagus pieces, tomatoes, cucumbers, broccolini, sautéed zucchini, sweet plantain pieces, cashews, crispy noodles, boiled shrimp or any leftover meat and, to crown my goodie bowl, some chopped avocado.  Depending on the mix I will prepare a more mineral dressing with some soy sauce base, or something more fruity with lemon or orange juice mixed with olive oil and some fresh herbs.

So this is a base recipe that I hope you could make on your own.  It has saved me from lots of hungry moments.

Recipe notes:

1.     Here my way to make wild rice.  It’s not exactly the same procedure as the package instructions, but since they have left me with soggy rice I just do it this way.  Also, this is the only time I use the liquid measuring cup for both the liquid and the dry ingredients, maybe here lies the magic.

2.     You could make this quick pickled red cabbage sautéed in olive oil to serve with fish or chicken in other recipes.

3.     Feel free to add more olive oil if the skillet feels too dry when sautéing the vegetables.

Wild rice salad with red grapefruit vinaigrette
About 4 cups
Total time - 45 minutesActive time - 20 minutes
Equipment - Medium pot or saucepan; food processor

Wild rice salad

Red cabbage, shredded – ¾ cup
White vinegar – 2 TBSP
Raw sugar – 1 TBSP
Wild rice – 1 cup
Chicken stock – 1 cup
Water – ½ cup
Olive oil – 5 to 6 TBSP
Haricot verts, rinsed and tips cut – ¾ cup
Carrot shavings – ½ cup
Mozzarella cubes or small balls – ½ cup
Salt – ⅛ Tsp for the rice + ½ Tsp for the vegetables
Pepper – ½ Tsp for the vegetables


Freshly squeezed red grapefruit juice - ⅓ cup
White wine vinegar – 2 TBSP
Sesame oil – ½ cup
Salt – ¼ Tsp
Freshly ground black pepper - pinch
Fresh mint leave, chopped – 1 Tsp


Salad: In a small bowl mix the red cabbage with the vinegar and the sugar.  Chill for at least 45 minutes.

In a small pot or saucepan (approximately 1 quart of capacity) combine the rice, ⅛ of salt, the stock and the water and bring to a boil in medium high heat. Cook for 8 to 9 minutes, until the water has reduced and the tips of the rice start to appear above the water.  Cover and lower to simmer.  Cook for 40 to 45 minutes, until the rice is tender.  Remove from heat and fluff it with a fork.  Cover again and let it rest for a few minutes.

While the rice is cooking, heat the olive oil over moderate heat.  Sauté the haricot verts with 1 to 1½ tablespoons of the olive oil, about ⅛ of the salt or to taste and a good sprinkle of pepper for 2 minutes, moving frequently until they are tender but crisp. Transfer to a plate.  Add 1 tablespoon more of olive oil and toss in the carrot shavings with ⅛ of the salt or to taste and a sprinkle of pepper and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, moving frequently until they are tender and a bit translucent.  Transfer to the plate with the green beans.  Add the remaining olive oil to the pan then add the shredded red cabbage with the remaining of salt, or more to taste, and a good sprinkle of ground pepper.  Cook for 1 minute, moving frequently, just until tender and a bit wilted.  Transfer to plate.

Dressing: In a small food processor mix all ingredients pulsing for a couple of seconds, until everything is well combine.

In a big bowl combine the rice with the vegetables.  Pour the dressing and mix, then incorporate the mozzarella cheese.  Serve warm.