The Wild Bunch Salad: Wild Rice and Barley Salad

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“I enjoy the nutty flavors that it (Wild Rice) imparts to my dish. The texture is also what I love about it because it gives a great toothsomeness”

~Created by Been Koon Tan~
Benicia, California

Makes 6 Servings


  • 1/2 cup wild rice, soaked in water overnight
  • 1/4 cup barley, soaked in water overnight
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 2 Tbsp. each golden raisins and dried cranberries,
  • soaked in rum or brandy
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1/4 cup kalamata olives, sliced
  • 1/4 cup capers 1 small shallot, minced
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 8 sprigs parsley, minced, divided
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling before serving
Cooking Instructions:

Drain water from soaked wild rice and barley; add to a 1-quart pot. Add cold water and bring to a boil; reduce heat to low and cover with a lid.

Cook for 15 minutes, or until grains are cooked with a toothsome bite (al dente). Drain and set in a medium sized bowl.

Remove raisins from the alcohol (reserve for later use) and add to the wild rice and barley mixture.

Add tomatoes, walnuts, kalamata olives, capers, and minced shallot to the bowl.

Mix lemon juice to the reserved alcohol; stir to mix through and pour into grain mixture.

Sprinkle with half of the minced parsley, salt and pepper; fold mixture together to mix well.

Adjust seasoning with salt, to taste.

To serve, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with remaining minced parsley.

Note: Fresh fruit like mango, pineapples, citrus fruits, apples or pears, as well as goat cheese are some examples of what the endless possibilities of additions that can be included or substituted with, in this recipe.

Cook’s Note: I enjoy the nutty flavors that it imparts to my dish. The texture is also what I love about it because it gives a great toothsomeness, if cooked right, without becoming too mushy and pasty. It has a lot of flexibility in its uses, from starters, salads, side dishes, to main courses, as well as desserts, too.

Recipe developed by : Been Koon Tan of Benicia, California for The California Wild Rice Advisory Board

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Always in Season

Wild Rice Month

September is National Wild Rice Month and National Whole Grains Month.  Visit our friends at Whole Grain Council to find health benefits, cooking tips and recipes, historical/cultural facts, and more.  

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Our Chef's Circle is continually developing new recipes and uses for wild rice especially with you, the professional chef, in mind.