This wonderful salad of pasta, currants, and vegetables is dressed with a tangy vinaigrette.

Recipe Summary

prep:
15 mins
cook:
25 mins
additional:
2 hrs 20 mins
total:
3 hrs
Servings:
4
Yield:
4 servings
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Ingredients

4
Original recipe yields 4 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Bring the wild rice and water to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the rice is tender but not mushy, 20 to 45 minutes depending on the variety of wild rice. Drain off any excess liquid, fluff the rice with a fork, and cook uncovered 5 minutes more. Once finished, spread into a shallow dish, and refrigerate until cold.

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  • Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the orzo pasta, and cook until al dente, 7 to 8 minute. Drain, rinse with cold water, and chill.

  • Place the chilled rice and orzo into a large mixing bowl. Stir in the red onion, currants, corn, yellow bell pepper, red bell pepper, and green bell pepper. Season with 2 tablespoons basil, salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. In a separate bowl, whisk together the vinegar, honey, mustard, garlic, 1/8 teaspoon pepper, and 1 1/2 teaspoons basil. Slowly whisk in the canola and olive oils until emulsified. Stir the dressing into the pasta, and refrigerate 2 hours before serving.

Nutrition Facts

566 calories; protein 10.6g 21% DV; carbohydrates 68.2g 22% DV; fat 29.1g 45% DV; cholesterolmg; sodium 340.7mg 14% DV. Full Nutrition

Reviews (47)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 4 stars
09/05/2010
My dilemma was whether to make this a four star or a five star rating, but I'm giving four stars because the dressing wasn't quite right for me. It was perfect until I added it to the salad, and then it got lost. I added at least another tablespoon of the white balsamic vinegar, and that seems to make a big difference. Next time I'll start out with a third of a cup of vinegar and just a little less oil and go from there. The directions for the rice and pasta were right on the mark. I used dried cranberries rather than currants just because that's what I had, and my corn was fresh. I used 1/4 cup of red onion, and I added a little more salt (I used kosher). An addition of about 1/3 cup of toasted slivered almonds is perfect with the rice. These are, for the most part, minor changes (though it sounds like more) for this gorgeous salad. I will definitely make this again! UPDATE: I made this again and upped the vinegar to 1/3 cup, the Dijon to 1 tablespoon, and the salt and pepper a lot! I added almost all the dressing to the warm rice and pasta for several hours before adding all the rest of the ingredients for the last several hours. I owe SUCCESS to my friends on the Recipe Exchange, who graciously aided me in my efforts! :) Read More
(61)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
04/26/2010
Used quinoa and wild rice; room for improvement on the dressing... Read More
(2)
61 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 48
  • 4 star values: 11
  • 3 star values: 2
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 4 stars
09/05/2010
My dilemma was whether to make this a four star or a five star rating, but I'm giving four stars because the dressing wasn't quite right for me. It was perfect until I added it to the salad, and then it got lost. I added at least another tablespoon of the white balsamic vinegar, and that seems to make a big difference. Next time I'll start out with a third of a cup of vinegar and just a little less oil and go from there. The directions for the rice and pasta were right on the mark. I used dried cranberries rather than currants just because that's what I had, and my corn was fresh. I used 1/4 cup of red onion, and I added a little more salt (I used kosher). An addition of about 1/3 cup of toasted slivered almonds is perfect with the rice. These are, for the most part, minor changes (though it sounds like more) for this gorgeous salad. I will definitely make this again! UPDATE: I made this again and upped the vinegar to 1/3 cup, the Dijon to 1 tablespoon, and the salt and pepper a lot! I added almost all the dressing to the warm rice and pasta for several hours before adding all the rest of the ingredients for the last several hours. I owe SUCCESS to my friends on the Recipe Exchange, who graciously aided me in my efforts! :) Read More
(61)
Rating: 5 stars
08/03/2008
I love this gorgeous looking dish! It is so colorful and mouthwatering! and tastes spectacular!!! I did not have the wild rice on hand so I skipped it - but I will probably use it next time - as it adds to the colors! I will be making this dish again. The recipe calls for alot of vegetables diced into 3 tbsp. amounts. I woun't cut into 3 different peppers just for 1/4 of the pepper or open a can of corn just for 3 tbs. of corn - so of course I ended up with ALOT of this salad. I doubled the dressing but I omitted the 1/4 cup canola oil (it would be too greasy) - but added in just the 1/4 cup olive oil. I did not have white balsamic vinegar so I used regular balsamic. Read More
(23)
Rating: 4 stars
09/09/2008
Excellent. This reminded me of a salad I had at J. Alexander's. It was sooo tasty not heavy and was an excellent complement to my salmon. Read More
(23)
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Rating: 5 stars
12/20/2011
I am giving this 5 stars because the concept of the recipie it self is awesome. I agree with all who said the dressing was "lost" or it just needed more of the dressing it self. I doubled the dressing and was not at all sorry, I also added cranberries instead of currents, and BACON!!! The bacon was awesome. I crisped up about a half a pack of smoked bacon- chopped, and YUMmy! I added about a tablespoon of maple syrup as well to my second dose of dressing as I was out of honey from the first batch of dressing. I love this recipe, I made it for Thanksgiving only to get rave reviews and tons of people asking for the recipe, and I'm making it again due to requests for it at Chirstmas. Have fun and enjoy!! Read More
(15)
Rating: 5 stars
05/30/2011
loved this salad. I made it for a function at work and it was loved by all. I did sub out the currants and instead used golden raisins. Upped the vinegar and dijon mustard. I dressed it shortly before we ate so that the pasta and rice wouldn't absorb all of the dressing and get lost. I will make this again for summer backyard BBQ's. It's very good. Read More
(15)
Rating: 5 stars
06/25/2012
As with any recipe, this can be tweaked according to personal preference. I love this version of this recipe and I also love the original at J. Alexander's. They are very similar. Note: This is a lot of choppping. The recipe is simple but a labor intensive and time consuming unless you have Wolfgang Puck's knife skills. Allow extra time and make ahead. I also recommend good music and your favorite glass of wine. My personal preferences: I use a 2:1 ratio of orzo to wild rice. I use regular balsamic vinegar instead of white (for simplicity). I use Craisins instead of currants. I double the dressing recipe and add until it looks right. Read More
(13)
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Rating: 5 stars
03/06/2009
Tastes just like the recipe I had in a restaurant! I did however, add more corn, peppers and used dried cranberries instead of currents. Read More
(9)
Rating: 5 stars
03/20/2012
This took a bit longer than I thought probably because of the time it took to cook the wild rice. BUT this was simple in that it's not fancy and doesn't require any cooking. You can add any veges you'd like to this too. I replaced the currants with dried cranberries and added an asparagus instead of green/yellow bell peppers. I would definitely double the dressing because it was all soaked up the next day not leaving much flavor. Used dark balsamic vinegar instead of white also. Read More
(7)
Rating: 5 stars
06/25/2011
I only used 1/2 c. olive oil. I was hesitant about the corn and peppers combined with currants (or raisins which I used) but it really worked together. Great textures great flavors. My foodie hubby said it was the best pasta-type salad he had ever had. Definite keeper. I used 1/2 the pepper. Read More
(6)
Rating: 3 stars
04/26/2010
Used quinoa and wild rice; room for improvement on the dressing... Read More
(2)