8 cup water
2 cup wild rice
2 tsp salt; plus more to taste
1 bay leaf
12 sprigs thyme
4 tsp grapeseed or canola oil
2 lb chanterelle or portobello mushrooms; wiped clean
1/2 cup olive oil
6 Tbs sherry vinegar
4 lg shallots; thinly sliced
2 tsp fennel seeds; toasted and cracked
2 tsp cumin seeds; toasted and cracked
2 tsp fresh thyme leaves; coarsely chopped
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 cup mixed dried fruits
1 cup chopped walnuts; toasted
1 lb stemmed arugula or watercress; washed, dried
8 oz fresh chevre (goat cheese), crumbled
Method To prepare the rice:
1. 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.
2. In a large skillet, heat the grapeseed or 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:
1. In a small bowl whisk together the olive oil, sherry vinegar, shallots, fennel, cumin, thyme, and pepper and season with salt. Add the dried fruits.
2. In a salad bowl, combine the cooled wild rice, cooked mushrooms, and walnuts. Toss with the vinaigrette and fruits.
3. To serve, portion the salad onto a large platter, top with the greens, and sprinkle with the crumbled goat cheese.