Holiday Wild Rice Salad Board for Easy and Affordable Entertaining
Nov 27, 2023
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Wow your guests with this wild rice salad board recipe. It’s got all the classic salad toppings like fresh greens, crisp apples, and creamy goat cheese with hearty wild rice that leaves everyone feeling satisfied and energized. With accessible ingredients and easy prep, you’ll enjoy serving up this nutritious salad board with a twist.
Salad is a classic side that’s always easy to bring to parties or serve your holiday guests.
And there are a ton of different toppings to add flavor, crunch, and sweetness to every bite.
This holiday wild rice salad board is perfect for the season because it’s easy to assemble, and holiday guests can pick and choose what they want on their plates. That means it’s also versatile for different dietary needs.
Holiday wild rice board is sponsored by Envy™.
With each salad topping layered on the serving plate, wild rice salad is as elegant as it is satisfying just like Envy™ apples.
Before we get started, let’s talk about why this delightful dish makes an appetizing addition to your next holiday party.
What’s a Wild Rice Salad Board?
Wild rice is a filling addition to this salad board that you may not have thought to try in the past. However, instead of tossing all the salad ingredients into one bowl and mixing them, we’re layering them onto a board in rows. Like a charcuterie board neatly displays the ingredients, we’re doing the same thing with our wild rice salad. This makes it easy for guests, including kiddos, to pick and choose what they want to eat, minimizing food waste.
We know you’ll love it as much as we do.
Wild Rice Salad Ingredients
Since we’re essentially making a wild rice salad, you guessed it… we’re going to use a variety of fruits and veggies. Over half of the ingredients are in the produce section, and the last few you’ll need can be found at any grocery store in your community.
Let’s get started!
We love using thick, hearty bacon for the protein on our wild rice salad board. We recommend getting a good quality brand. Sometimes, the butcher will have gorgeous cuts of bacon on sale with various flavors like cracked pepper or brown sugar. Feel free to pick your favorite flavor or a new one you want to try. The center cuts are the best because they have less fat and more flavor. The crispy bits are always a hit and add saltiness to your holiday salad.
Although wild rice is actually a grass seed, it still has a chewy texture, like rice with an earthy flavor. You’ll love that it’s still gluten-free and has more fiber and protein than white or brown rice. It tastes great warm, hot, or cold, so you can make the rice ahead of time before your guests arrive. Look for it in the grain aisle – there should be at least one brand available.1
Every salad needs a crumbly cheese. Goat cheese is a tart, soft cheese that’s easy to crumble. It adds a touch of creamy, richness to elevate your board. There are a variety of goat cheeses to subtly infuse extra flavor into your wild rice salad board. Goat cheese is located by the artisanal cheeses or in the dairy section.
When you get to the produce section, grab a large tub of mixed baby greens, a tub of tart pomegranate arils (seed pods), sweet and salty honey-roasted pecans, and crisp Envy™ apples.
You’ll need 10 cups of mixed baby greens, so a large tub should be plenty to plate your wild rice salad board. This mixture offers a variety of greens that range from peppery to earthy. Be sure to check that the leaves are fresh and bright green. If any greens are brown or rotten, look for a different tub.
Pomegranate arils are the small, edible seeds inside pomegranates. They have a tart and sweet taste similar to cranberries. You can buy pomegranates and extract the seeds yourself. However, you can also purchase the arils already removed from the produce section, saving you a ton of time.
Honey-roasted pecans add a sweet, buttery element to your salad board that is mild and nutty. Pecans are soft and easy to eat, so everyone can enjoy them. Pecans are an easy way to add extra protein to this recipe and healthy fats to keep your kids and guests feeling full.2
Envy™ Apples are always a highlight of our holiday recipes because they create the ultimate apple experience. They stay white longer than other apples, so your wild rice salad board looks crisp and fresh all night long. You may even want to have extra on hand because these apple slices disappear fast.
How to Make a Wild Rice Salad Board
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350℉ and line a high-rimmed baking pan with aluminum foil. Lay each piece of bacon on the cooling rack in a single layer and place the rack inside the baking pan. Bake for 30-40 minutes, depending on the size and thickness of the bacon, until the bacon is crispy.
Step 2: When the bacon is done cooking, transfer it to a paper towel-lined plate in a single layer to get rid of the excess grease. When the bacon is cool, use a knife to cut it into bite-size pieces and set aside.
Step 3: After you put the bacon in the oven, heat your chicken broth over high heat in a skillet until it starts to boil. Rinse your wild rice under cool running water to get rid of any starch that’s on the outside. Then, add it to the boiling chicken broth along with the salt. Cover the skillet with a lid and let it simmer for about 55 minutes.
Your wild rice is done when it splits and starts to curl.
Step 4: Drain the leftover liquid and fluff with a fork.
Step 5: Use a knife to core your apples. Then, cut each face of the apple into thin pieces and put them into a small mixing bowl.
Step 6: Add the lemon juice to the mixing bowl with apples and use your hands to quickly coat them to further prevent them from turning brown.
How to Assemble a Wild Rice Board
Step 1: Place the mixed baby greens in a single layer on your serving plate.
Step 2: Then make rows with each wild rice salad board ingredient.
Row 1 — greens, honey-roasted pecans, Envy™ apple slices, pomegranate arils, wild rice
Row 2 — Envy™ apple slices, crumbled goat cheese, bacon
Step 3: Serve with the honey dijon dressing on the side.
How to Select Apples
Envy™ apples should be bright red with smooth skin and crisp white flesh. Use your fingers and palms to check for any bruising. However, be careful not to pinch the apple because it can cause it to bruise. It should also have a pleasant, fruity smell.
Why We Love Envy™
The holidays are a time to gather with your family and friends around a table filled with food. Envy™ has made it their mission to savor those special moments with the ones you love and give you the ultimate apple experience at the same time. Whether you’re watching a new Hallmark movie or taking a trip down memory lane through family photos, Envy™ will surely deliver on taste, aroma, crunch, and appearance.
Here is where you can get your holiday apples this season!
More Holiday Salad Recipes
- Apple Wreath Salad — festive salad in the shape of a wreath
- Apple Salad on Croissants — Waldorf salad on a sandwich
- Stacked Waldorf Salad — savor the moment with elegance
- Apple, Cranberry, and Kale Salad — all the flavors of the holidays in one bowl
Holiday Wild Rice Board
- High-rimmed baking pan
- Cooling rack
- 1 lb good-quality-thick-cut bacon
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup whole wild rice (not cracked)
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 10 cups mixed baby greens
- 8 oz. pomegranate arils
- 1 cup crumbled goat cheese
- 1 cup honey-roasted pecans
- 4 large Envy™ Apples thinly sliced
- 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- kosher salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 350℉. Arrange the bacon in a single layer on a cooling rack and place the bacon on a foil-lined, high-rimmed baking sheet. Bake until crispy, about 30-40 minutes.
- While the bacon cooks, heat a large saucepan over high heat. Add the chicken broth and bring it to a boil.
- When the bacon is cooked, transfer it from the cooling rack to a paper towel-lined plate and let it cool. When the bacon is cooled and crispy, chop it into bite-sized peices and set it aside.
- Add the wild rice and salt to your saucepan. Reduce the heat to a medium-low, cover it, and let it simmer until wild rice splits open and curls, about 55 minutes.
- Remove from heat and drain the extra liquid. Fluff with a fork and set aside.
- Slice the apples in thin slices and add them to a small mixing bowl with lemon juice. Toss until apples are coated, then set aside.
- Place all honey Dijon vinaigrette ingredients – honey, Dijon mustard, vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper – in a small bowl and whisk together.
- Taste, add more salt or pepper if needed, and set aside.
- Place a handful of the mixed baby greens in a single layer on your serving plate.
- Add the remaining ingredients in a row above the previous ingredient.Here's what we did"Row 1 – greens, honey-roasted pecans, Envy™ apple slices, pomegranate arils, wild riceRow 2 – Envy™ apple slice, crumbled goat cheese, bacon
- Cook time on bacon varies depending on the thickness and size of the pieces. Keep an eye on it after 30 minutes to be sure it doesn’t burn.
- If after 55 minutes, the wild rice is still not split open, let it simmer a few minutes longer until it splits and starts to curl.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.