Wild Rice, Walnut, and Mushroom Pilaf

In Recipies on November 30, 2010 at 3:27 pm

Take your sidedish to the "wild" side!

It is only fitting that a Native American staple stands proudly alongside other dishes on the Phyne Dyner’s table each Thanksgiving.  For eastern and northern tribes, wild rice was (and remains) a favourite.

This year, the Phyne Dyner was determined to set the Mediterranean centerpiece of the meal, a peppery whole rosemary chicken, alongside a wild rice and native mushroom pilaf.

The result was spectacular.  The earthy tones of the pilaf were a delightful foil for the chicken’s sunny tones that set by its sharp paprika and red, green, and jalapeno peppers.

1 C wild rice

3 C low-sodium chicken broth

1 small shallot, minced

2 tbs small walnut pieces

½ C dried morel mushrooms

3 sage leaves (or ¾ tsp dry, rubbed sage)

1 tsp olive oil

Kosher salt

Fresh-ground pepper

Bring the broth to a rapid boil, then stir in the rice.  Reduce heat to simmer and cover.  Cook for one hour, or until most of the liquid is absorbed.  Reconstitute the mushrooms by heating 2 cups of water to a boil.  Carefully rinse the mushrooms under running water and add to the boiling water.  Boil the mushrooms for about 3 minutes.  Then, cover the mushrooms in the water and set aside for at least 30 minutes.

In a small sauce pan or skillet, heat the walnut pieces over medium-high heat until the nuts begin to “sweat”.  Do not allow the nuts to burn or darken.  Add 1 tsp olive oil to the pan and add the minced shallot.  Saute just until the shallot begins to soften.  Reduce the heat to medium.  Carefully drain the water from the reconstituted mushrooms and chop them finely before adding them to the walnut and shallot mixture.  Shred the sage leave into this mixture (or add the rubbed sage) and add this to the walnut, sage, and mushrooms.  Heat over medium heat until aromatic.

Carefully drain any remaining water from the cooked wild rice.  Stir in the walnut, shallot, and mushrooms.  Season with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.

Serve hot.  Makes about 4 cups.

  1. Where do you get morels this time of year? This sounds awesome, I think I’ll try it.

    • I buy fresh morels when they are in season, dry them, and store them in a cool, dry place for use later. Some specialty markets keep dried morels. If yours does not, substitute shiitakes or porcinis. In a pinch, mini-bellas can be used but you will miss out on most of the “wild” flavours of the original recipe. Thanks for reading!

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