Serve this crunchy winter salad as a starter, a between-course palate refresher, or even a final course. It also makes a good lunch entrée paired with just about any soup.
• At least an hour ahead of time, combine 1/4 cup wild rice and 2 cups water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered (adding more water, if and as needed) for 45 - 50 minutes, or until tender. Drain thoroughly, then measure out what you need for this salad. The rest can be tossed into another rice dish.
• Vegans can leave out the cheese and substitute any favorite vinaigrette for the dressing.
Blue Cheese-Yogurt Dressing
¼ cup plain, regular yogurt
1 heaping tablespoon finely minced shallot
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons apple juice
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons crumbled blue cheese (possibly more, to taste)
1 small head green leaf lettuce, cleaned and spun dry
3/4 pouund Belgian endives
½ medium jicama (about ¾ pound, peeled and cut into matchsticks or any shape bite-sized pieces)
1 small, firm Fuyu persimmon or red apple, thinly sliced
Seeds from a medium-sized pomegranate
1/2 cup cooked wild rice
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans, lightly toasted
Up to 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese (optional)