Roasted Onion and Wild Rice Salad

Cuisine Type: 
American
Serves: 
12

Sauteed asparagus and roasted onion salad with balsamic vinegar makes a delightful flavor contrast to the wild rice cooked with cherries, cranberry juice and apple cider.

Ingredients

4 lb. fresh asparagus
3⁄4 cup walnut oil
4 1⁄2 lb. small red onions
Olive oil, kosher salt, and cracked pepper, as needed
1⁄2 cup balsamic vinegar
3 tbsp. sherry vinegar

For Wild Rice:
3⁄4 cup dried cherries
6 tbsp. port wine
Hot water, as needed
2 1⁄2 cups wild rice
1 1⁄2 cups cranberry juice
1 cup apple cider
3⁄4 cup pine nuts, toasted
 

Steps

1. Trim and peel asparagus. Heat oil in sauté pan, add asparagus and sauté until
tender-crisp. Remove from pan and plunge into ice water.

2. Leaving skin on, cut onions into quarters, with root ends trimmed but still intact to hold quarters together. Rub onions with olive oil and dust with salt and pepper. Spread quarters out on sheet pan. Roast at 375°F for 30 min., or until tender but not too soft. Cool and peel. Coat asparagus and onions with balsamic and sherry vinegars, allowing them to marinate at least 1 hr.

3. Cover cherries with port. Add 1⁄4 cup hot water; let stand 5 min. Rinse rice well, place in saucepan and add 2 cups water. Add cranberry juice, cider and sherry-port mixture. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for about 1 hr., stirring occasionally or until rice has absorbed the liquid and is still slightly chewy. Add salt and pepper to taste.

4. Per order, press warm rice mixture into a 4-oz. mold and invert into center of plate. Arrange 4 onion quarters around rice and weave 8 asparagus spears in circle over and around onions. Sprinkle with 1 tbsp. pine nuts.
 

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
vote buttons pins

On every other Thursday of our four-week cycle menu, we allow K-8 students to pick the entree choices. The media center specialist for each of the participating schools sets up the list of entree items on a computer for voting, and the winning entrees are given to cafeteria managers two weeks before the upcoming month to put into production. Students really like this, as it promotes ownership of the menu.

Ideas and Innovation
chalkboard

We highlight our North Carolina products on a large chalkboard in our dining halls, and also list any produce we bring in from our own agroecology farm. It helps tell our story—positive and local.

Ideas and Innovation
raised garden beds

We have raised garden beds that residents can reserve and use to grow their own plants. Whenever a resident brings me fresh produce from their own garden, I try and incorporate it into a dish. If I do end up using it, I will display the resident’s name and what the produce was next to the dish on the menu.

Ideas and Innovation
chartwells teaching kids

Curriculum for the mobile teaching kitchen centers around a single kid-friendly recipe, using ingredients that can provide talking points for nutrition, sustainability and food origins. “The recipe is the lesson,” Saidel says. “Every ingredient is an opportunity to talk.”

Earlier this year, Saidel, Perkins and Harvey did a student demo featuring roasted chicken and white bean tacos with greens and citrus salsa. “We can say, ‘Why are we using chicken instead of beef? Why are there some beans in here?’ You can talk about plant proteins and the sustainability and health message around...

FSD Resources