Wild rice salad is served in some fine restaurnts as a specialty. It has always been a favorite dish around our house. It was a challenge to get the desired flavor at home. Discovering a lite raspberry vinaigrette that is vegan, gluten-free, low-fat, and free of artificial colors or preservatives was a big help. The cranberries add a bit of tartness that offset the garlic and figs nicely. Serve in the winter as a side dish with soup. Serve in the summer as a refreshing lunch or dinner. The figs and cranberries offer lots of micronutrients. 


  • 1 cup wild rice. Place in a saucepan with 3 cups of water, 1 tsp olive oil, and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil. Turn heat down, cover pan, and simmer very slowly until water is absorbed and rice is soft and very fluffy. Remove from heat. Set aside to cool. May prepare in advance. Just cover and refrigerate until ready to actually mix salad and serve.

In a bowl combine and mix well:

  • 1 bundle of green onions, sliced finely along with the tops
  • 1 cup of finely chopped celery 
  • 1 cup red onion, chopped fine 
  • ½ cup chopped dried Black Mission figs (about 8 figs)
  • ½ cup dried cranberries, soaked in hot water, drained, and chopped
  • ½ cup chopped pecans. If desired, heat in skillet, stirring constantly, until pecans are brown and crisp

May prepare these chopped ingredients in advance. Cover and refrigerate until ready to actually mix salad and serve.


In a large bowl combine cooked rice and all other ingredients. Mix well.

Pour ¾ cup light vinagrette into a small mixer. Add one clove garlic and salt and pepper to taste. Blend until smooth.

Pour garlic vinaigrette over ingredients in bowl and mix well. 


Place ½ cup on individual salad plates and garnish with a few fresh raspberries (if desired) or place in a bowl on the table and allow people to serve themselves. 


References (Accessed 8/14)