Rustic Wild Rice Pilaf
Trying new things is always a good idea, especially if you’re in the kitchen! This recipe is full of new things for me. Shortly after we moved to Penang, my wonderful mother-in-law sent us a care package full of wonderful and yummy things that we couldn’t find here on the island. One of the things she sent along was a bag of Trader Joe’s wild rice. I was a little intimidated. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love eating wild rice but I didn’t think I would love to cook it. I stuck the bag of rice in the pantry and decided to worry about it later. Six months later, my quest to cook as if it were fall brought me back to that little bag of rice. And to my surprise, it’s quite easy to cook (as long as you have some time and follow directions!).
Not only did I try cooking wild rice all by myself, I also tried cooking a pilaf. Whatis a rice pilaf, you ask? A pilaf is simply a dish in which rice is cooked in a seasoned broth. Sometimes the rice may be cooked with bits of cooked onions, lots of spices, vegetables, and sometimes meat. It’s popular all over the world from South America, to the Middle East, and South Asia. This recipe is delicious and makes for a perfect side dish during the fall and winter. It’s also holiday-worthy! I’m excited to include two new things in our Thanksgiving meal: wild rice and a pilaf!
1 cup uncooked wild rice
1 cup uncooked brown rice
6 cups vegetable broth
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup toasted slivered almonds
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
serves 4-6 as a side dish
A sweet twist on this dish: replace 1 cup of vegetable broth with 1 cup fresh orange juice!
Rinse wild rice thoroughly and drain. Cook wild rice and brown rice according to the package’s directions using the vegetable broth instead of water. OR bring 4 cups veggie broth to a boil, add wild rice, cover and return to a boil. Then turn down heat to low and let simmer for 45-60 minutes until tender. Drain any excess liquid and fluff with a fork. While your wild rice is cooking, bring the 2 remaining cups of veggie broth to a boil, add brown rice, cover and return to a boil. Turn down heat and let simmer for about 20 minutes or until rice is tender and no liquid remains.
Once both rices are done cooking, add to a large mixing bowl or serving dish and mix in cranberries, almonds, rosemary, and thyme. Taste and season with salt if necessary. Serve warm.