Updated: December 18, 2012 11:15AM
MAKES 6-8 SERVINGS
½ cup finely chopped onion
2 tablespoon olive oil, divided
1½ cups wild rice
3 cups water or broth
¼ cup pecans
2 pears, cored and chopped into ½-inch pieces
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
8 ounces fresh baby spinach leaves
Salt and freshly ground pepper
½ cup Basil Vinaigrette (below)
In a 3-quart saucepan, saute onion in 1 tablespoon oil until wilted. Add rice and stir to coat grains with oil. Add water and bring to a boil, then lower to gentle simmer and cover. Cook until grains are tender but not split, about 30 minutes.
While rice cooks, toast nuts in a dry skillet and set aside; prepare vinaigrette.
In a large skillet, heat second tablespoon of oil and toss pears and thyme until pear is just tender. Add spinach, tossing gently until wilted, about 3 minutes. Add the cooked rice and toss just until warmed through, then season with salt and pepper and drizzle the vinaigrette over it. Garnish with nuts just before serving.
Serve warm as a side dish or at room temperature as a salad.
MAKES 1 1/2 CUPS
1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard
1 tablespoon chopped basil leaves
1 teaspoon minced garlic
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup balsamic vinegar
½ cup olive
Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender until thick. Let stand 10 minutes to allow flavors to mellow before using. Can be stored in a tightly lidded jar in refrigerator for 1 week.