I made this rice salad for Thanksgiving, the inspiration came from the Nov 2011 issue of Bon Appétit. It was super simple and tastes better the next day!
1 TBSP olive oil
3 large celery stalks, finely chopped
1 c finely chopped onion
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups wild rice
2 c chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1 tsp salt plus more
3/4 c pecans
3/4 c dried cranberries
3/4 c dried apricots, coarsely chopped
3/4 c golden raisins
Freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 c thinly sliced small celery stalks
1/2 c celery leaves from celery heart, coarsely chopped
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add chopped celery and onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and almost translucent, about 8 minutes. Stir in garlic; cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add wild rice; stir for 1 minute. Add broth, bay leaf, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 1/2 cups water; increase heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes. Uncover, stir, and continue cooking, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender, 20-40 minutes.
Discard bay leaf. Stir in dried cranberries, apricots, and raisins. Let sit, covered, for 5 minutes.
Season rice to taste with salt and pepper. Fold pecans, sliced cranberries, and sliced celery into mixture. Garnish with celery leaves.