8 cups water
2 cups wild rice
2 tsp. salt, plus more to taste
1 bay leaf
12 sprigs of thyme
4 tsp. canola oil
2 pounds chanterelle or Portobello mushrooms, wiped clean and chopped
½ cup olive oil
6 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
4 large shallots, thinly sliced
2 tsp. fennel seeds, toasted and cracked
2 tsp. cumin seeds, toasted and cracked
2 tsp. thyme chopped
2 tsp. fresh cracked pepper
1 cup mixed dried fruits, such as cherries, cranberries, raisins, chopped figs, or chopped apricots
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans, toasted
1 pound stemmed arugula
8 ounces fresh white goat cheese, crumbled (about 1 cup)
toasted and cracked spices
To prepare the rice: Wash the rice under cold water for 2 minutes. Bring 8 cups of water to a boil and add the salt, bay leaf, and thyme. Add the washed rice to the boiling water and simmer for 40 minutes, or until tender. Drain the rice and remove the bay leaf and thyme; let cool. (This can be done 1 day ahead of time and refrigerated.) You should have 7 cups cooked rice. OR…swing by Trader Joes and pick up two packs of their pre-cooked wild rice. It’s much easier…
In a large skillet, heat the canola oil over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 6 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove from heat, drain well, and set aside.
To make the vinaigrette: In a small bowl whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, shallots, fennel, cumin, thyme, and pepper and season with salt. Add the dried fruits.
In a salad bowl, combine the cooled wild rice, cooked mushrooms, and walnuts. Toss with the vinaigrette and fruits.
To serve, portion the salad onto a large platter, top with the greens, and sprinkle with the goat cheese.