This wild and brown rice pilaf is deliciously embellished with apples and pecans. It’s a festive side dish, perfect for fall and winter holiday or special occasion meals.
The companionable flavors of this pilaf will please your taste buds and the textures will invigorate your palate. As a side dish, it makes a generous amount; leftovers keep well for a few days in the refrigerator.
About wild rice: Actually the seed of a grass native to the Great Lakes region of the U.S., wild rice looks, tasted, and is cooked like a grain. Brown and wild rice and perfect to cook together — they have similar cooking times.
Wild rice is often used in fall and winter, not so much because it’s a seasonal ingredient, but because its nutty flavor and hearty texture lend themselves to cool-weather dishes like grain pilafs and stews. It’s a nice addition to grain salads and stuffings, and seem to especially complement dishes that incorporate winter squashes.
Though wild rice is costlier than most varieties of rice, a little goes a long way when combined with other ingredients. It has a more pronounced, nuttier flavor than rice, and a chewier texture as well. Find out more about wild rice.
- 3/4 cup wild rice, rinsed
- 3/4 cup long-grain brown or brown Basmati rice, rinsed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium red onion, finely chopped
- 2 large or 3 medium celery stalks, finely diced
- 1/3 cup orange juice
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- 1/3 cup raisins or dried cranberries
- 2 teaspoons all-purpose seasoning (such as Mrs. Dash Table Blend)
- Pinch each: cinnamon, nutmeg
- 2 medium crisp apples, cored, and diced
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
- 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
- Combine the wild and brown rice in a saucepan with 3 1/2 cups of water. Bring to a gentle boil, then lower the heat and cover. Simmer gently until the water is absorbed, about 35 minutes.
- Heat the oil in a large skillet or stir-fry pan. Add the onion and sauté until translucent. Add the celery and continue to sauté until the onion is touched with golden brown spots.
- Add the cooked rice mixture along with the juice, scallions, raisins, seasoning, and spices. Stir together and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring frequently, until piping hot.
- Add the apples and season with salt and pepper. Stir in the parsley and pecans. Transfer to a lidded serving container, and serve while hot. If making ahead of time, warm in a 350º oven for a few minutes before serving.
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