Truth be told, my experience with wild rice came in the form of a white and wild rice pilaf that occasionally graced our dinner table on holidays growing up. It usually came from a box, and I honestly never thought about it again until the next holiday rolled around. Fast forward to my life in Minnesota, and I quickly learned that wild rice holds a place of reverence in this state. No sharing the spotlight with white rice here. So here is my first official homage to this wonderfully native grain: Wild Rice with Pistachios and Cherries.
Wild rice has a subtle nutty flavor and slightly chewy texture. It’s an underused side dish that makes your meal just a little less ordinary. The dried cherries add a touch of sweetness, the pistachios lend a salty bite, and the dijon dressing from Cara at Big Girls Small Kitchen unites the whole darn thing. I actually think it’s even better the next day as the flavors have really melded together. Toss in a little leftover chicken or turkey, and you have an excellent, filling lunch.
Do you have any “native” dishes that make an appearance during the holidays? Share your story with us!
Heat oil in large heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add mushrooms, shallots and salt/pepper to taste and sauté for 7-10 minutes or until soft. Add wild rice and stir until coated. Pour in chicken broth and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook for 45 minutes. Remove cover, turn up heat and cook for additional 10 minutes or until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Be careful not to overcook the rice (it will look like it exploded). Drain any remaining liquid from rice mixture and return rice to pan. Stir in cherries and pistachios.
Meanwhile combine dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until combined. Pour over wild rice. Adjust seasoning to taste with salt and pepper.
You may have leftover dressing; use as much as you personally like.