1. In a medium saucepan, put the wild rice, water, and salt and bring to a boil over medium heat.
2. Immediately reduce the heat and cover the saucepan, keeping the heat on a very slow simmer for about 1 1/4 hours or until the water is absorbed. (If rice is opened and tender but there is still water in the pot, just drain it and fluff the rice.)
3. Remove saucepan from the heat, and immediately stir in the maple syrup, cherries, hazelnuts, and milk until blended well; add salt if desired.
4. Serve while still warm. Makes about 4 servings.
Wild rice has a more 'toothsome' bite than other rice, even brown rice. It also has a nutty flavor, which makes it a perfect flavor combination with the maple syrup, cherries, and hazelnuts. Make this dish for a pretty and fancy side for a holiday meal or other occasion.