Monday, March 22, 2010

Wild on wild rice salad

This party-pleasing pilaf was inspired by a recipe by Rose Reisman, a Toronto-based cookbook author and now restaurateur, whose new Glow Fresh Grill, a causally posh California-style restaurant in the Shops at Don Mills, really impressed me with its healthy take on eating out. Here’s part of what I wrote about it in one of my Dish columns in the National Post

"We don't want to hit people over the head with this," says Reisman of the restaurant's healthy philosophy. "It's not about deprivation of diet." To that end, appetizers mean daily signature soups or salads, like seared tuna over fennel mango slaw, while mains include carefully trimmed pistachio-crusted lamb chops with a pomegranate glaze, heaped with sides of whole grains and fresh vegetables.

A couple of customers happen by while we eat and chat. "We come here a lot," they tell the recognizable Reisman. "It's like the only healthy place in town." The new mother ate the Cobb salad, her husband ordered the turkey burger and their 10-month old had the burger shooters. Consensus: "Delicious" and "goo-goo, ga-ga."

Seeing the place jammed during a Monday lunch actually lightened my heart. I loved seeing that, given a choice, people will embrace a healthier lifestyle, even when dining out.”

Colour burst wild rice salad

(serves 8-10)


1 ½ cups wild rice

4 cups vegetable stock

½ cup chopped pecans, toasted

¼ cup sliced almonds, toasted

½ cup dried fruit (apricots, raisins, mango, etc.)

2 sweet potatoes, peeled, cooked and cubed

2 celery ribs, diced

2 oranges, peel and pith removed, and segmented (or just peel it and pull the sections apart)

½ cup red onion, finely diced

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 Tbsp OJ

1 Tbsp red wine vinegar

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp sesame oil

2 tsp soya sauce

fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)


  1. Bring veggie stock to a boil and add wild rice. Lower heat to simmer and cook covered for 35 minutes or until wild rice is tender. Drain off excess liquid, let rice cool in a large serving bowl and set aside to cool.
  2. Prep your fruit and veggies and toast your nuts if you haven’t already done so. Add them to the bowl.
  3. Whisk together oil, soy, OJ, vinegar, garlic and sesame oil. Taste for balance, adjust if needed and pour over salad. Toss add to combine and let sit for at least an hour before serving.

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