Orchard Wild Rice Salad with Orange-Walnut Vinaigrette

2 cups apple juice
1 cup water
1 1/2 cups wild rice, rinsed
1/2 t. dried thyme
1 - 2-inch strip of orange peel
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup golden raisins
1 recipe of Orange-Walnut Vinaigrette
1 cup walnuts
2 cups pear, unpeeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 cups gala apple, unpeeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
4 t. lemon juice
1 cup celery, thinly sliced
1/2 cup green onion, thinly sliced
4 cups Boston or bibb lettuce, washed, patted dry, and torn into bite-size pieces
4 cups red-tipped oak leaf lettuce, washed well, patted dry, and torn into bite-size pieces
4 cups green loose leaf lettuce, washed well, stems trimmed, patted dry, and torn into bite-size pieces

In a medium saucepan, place the apple juice and water, and bring to a boil. Add the wild rice, thyme, orange peel, and bay leaf, and stir to combine. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer the rice for 35-40 minutes or until the wild rice is just tender. Remove the saucepan from the heat, leave covered, and set aside for 5 minutes to allow the rice to steam. Remove the bay leaf and orange peel and discard them. Transfer the wild rice to a large bowl, fluff with a fork, add the golden raisins, and set aside to cool for 20 minutes. Drizzle 1/3 cup of the Orange-Walnut Vinaigrette over the wild rice and toss gently to combine. In a non-stick skillet, place the walnuts, and cook them over medium heat for 4-5 minutes or until lightly toasted and fragrant. Remove the skillet from the heat and set aside to cool. When walnuts are cool to the touch, roughly chop them, and set aside.

In a glass bowl, place the cubed pear and apples, drizzle them with the lemon juice, and toss gently to thoroughly coat the fruit with the juice. To the bowl of wild rice, add the pear-apple mixture, celery, and green onion, and toss gently to combine, and set aside. In a large bowl, place the Boston lettuce, oak leaf lettuce, and green loose leaf lettuce, and toss gently to combine. Transfer the tossed greens to a large platter or bowl, arrange the wild rice salad mixture in the center of the greens, and sprinkle the reserved walnuts over the top. Drizzle additional Orange-Walnut Vinaigrette over individual servings.

Serves 6-8


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