This gluten free wild rice lentil salad with apples and cranberries is a tasty Thanksgiving side dish that’s full of fresh flavors.
Oh my, it’s Thanksgiving week! We had two birthday parties over the weekend – my firstborn turned 8! Where does the time go – it seems like just yesterday he was born ON Thanksgiving Day, and I had a hospital turkey dinner. :)
Since I had all kinds of birthday stuff to do, I had put Thanksgiving on the back burner. But now, the countdown is on, it’s only four days away.
Do you need a last minute recipe? Because I have an easy one!
This wild rice lentil salad is a dish that you can make ahead of time, and it’s perfect for those with special dietary needs, because it’s not only gluten free and vegan, but it’s free of the top 8 allergens. This salad is packed with color and flavor – crispy apples, tart cranberries, wild rice, black lentils, onions, and celery, all topped with a citrus dressing.
Now if you aren’t a lentil fan, you can leave those out, but I do think that they add some nice texture and flavor. Plus they are an excellent source of protein and fiber. You can use green lentils if you wish, but the black lentils are a little bit firmer and hold up better in salads.
If you do make this the night before you’re going to serve it, be sure to keep the dressing separate. I find that rice just soaks up the dressing and then a lot of the flavor is lost if you mix it all together too early.
Wild Rice Lentil Salad with Apples and Cranberries.
- 1 cup long grain brown rice
- 1/2 cup wild rice
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1/3 cup black lentils picked over and rinsed
- 1/2 cup sweet onion chopped
- 3 celery stalks chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh cranberries
- 1 large apple diced
- fresh parsley
For the dressing:
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1/4 cup organic canola oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 teaspoon pepper
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- Place the brown rice and the wild rice in a large pot and add 3 1/4 cups of water and a teaspoon of olive oil. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cover pan. Cook for about 40-45 minutes, or until both varieties are tender.
- While the rice cooks, cook the lentils. Place them in a pot with enough water to cover by one inch. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low and cover the pan. Cook until lentils are tender but still firm, about 25 minutes. Drain out excess water.
- Place the rice and lentils in a large bowl and let them cool before proceeding.
- Put the cranberries in a food processor and pulse a few times until coarsely chopped.
- Add the cranberries, apples, onion, and celery to the bowl. Stir well.
- Make the dressing: Put the orange juice, organic canola oil, salt, pepper, and sugar in a jar with a lid. Shake well. If you are serving the salad right away, pour the dressing on top and toss to coat. If you are not serving immediately, refrigerate the salad and the dressing and combine just before serving.
- Garnish with fresh parsley if desired.
Are you the guest or the host this Thanksgiving? What’s on your menu?