Mushroom and Pine Nut Wild Rice Pilaf

>> Sunday, February 25, 2018

The first time I remember having wild rice was when I was visiting family in Minnesota at Christmastime. A snowstorm delayed our trip back to the airport, and I ran to the gate with my little girls panting to keep up, just to meet a closed door and an apologetic flight attendant telling us she was sorry about our missed flight, in that cute Fargo-type accent.

Jenny burst into tears.

The sweet little attendant looked stricken. She booked us on the next flight and upgraded us to first class. We spent the next couple of hours strolling through the airport shops, where we discovered the deliciousness of Caribou coffee and I learned about the cultivation and harvesting of wild rice, the seeds that Native Americans have so generously offered the world. Minnesota is very proud of its wild rice.

Wild rice seems to be a natural pair-up with poultry or fish, so I served this easy rice pilaf with Alaskan pollock baked in white wine, salad burnet, and dill. If you don't have pine nuts, the buttery-sweet flavor of pecans is a good substitute.


1 cup mixed wild rice and brown rice
1 tbsp oil
1/2 cup chopped white onion
1 1/2 cups chopped mushrooms
1 tsp chopped rosemary
2 cups chicken broth


Toast the rice in a dry skillet until some of the grains are browner. Set the rice aside. Heat the oil in the skillet, then add the mushrooms and onions and brown them on medium-high heat. Stir frequently so they do not burn.

Add the rosemary and chicken broth, then stir in the rice. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and cover the pan. Simmer for 40-45 minutes, until all the liquid is absorbed and the grains are tender and chewy. 

Toast the pine nuts in a small pan until they are slightly browned. Don't toast them too much, or they will taste bitter. Sprinkle the nuts on top of the rice before serving.

Makes 4-6 side dishes.


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