Wild Rice Salad with Chanterelles

This is so full of flavor that you won't ever think of it as "vegan" or "special food" or "healthy." It's just good food, warm and filling on a cold November day. The wild rice clings to the chanterelles, which bounce back against the fork, and the sour cherries add a sweet bite. If you're the kind of family that likes a wild rice stuffing for Thanksgiving? This could be yours.

Shauna James Ahern

Wild Rice Salad with Chanterelles

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    Ingredients

    2 cups wild rice 4 teaspoons fine-diced tarragon
    1 teaspoon kosher salt 1 cup toasted cashews
    4 tablespoons olive oil 1 1/2 cups raw cashews (for cashew sour cream)
    2 cups chanterelles 1/2 teaspoon salt (for cashew sour cream)
    4 tablespoons fine-diced shallots 2 ounces fresh lemon juice (about 1 large lemon) (for cashew sour cream)
    1/2 cup dried sour cherries About 3/4 cup water (for cashew sour cream)

    directions

    Total:
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    • 1

      Cooking the wild rice. Put the wild rice into a large saucepan and cover with 6 cups hot water. Add the salt and stir. Set the pan over high heat and bring the water to a boil. Reduce the heat until the water stays at a medium-hard boil. Cook the rice, watching to make sure the water does not evaporate, until the rice is tender to the teeth, about 20 minutes. (You can also reduce the heat to low and simmer slowly, about 45 to 50 minutes.) Drain and set aside.

    • 2

      Sauteing the salad. Set a large sauté pan over high heat. Let the pan grow really hot. Add the oil. When it swirls in the pan, toss in the chanterelles and cook, stirring, for a few moments. Add the shallots and cook them both, stirring. Toss in the tarragon and cook until it releases its fragrance, about 2 minutes. Add the cherries and toasted cashews. Cook for a moment, stirring. Add the wild rice and cook until it is heated.

    • 3

      Serve the salad warm, with cold cashew sour cream on top: Cover the cashews with water and let them soak overnight. In the morning, drain the water from the softened cashews. Put them into a food processor, along with the salt and lemon juice. (We liked this lemony. If you want to mask the taste more, use less lemon juice.) Twirl it all up, pouring in the fresh water until the "cream" has reached your desired consistency. Refrigerate it for a few hours to let it thicken even more.

    • 4

      Also, this cashew sour cream is great on tacos, enchiladas, and spread on warm bread.

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