As a Minnesota youth with a dad that hunted, a platter of roasted teal ducks was autumn fare. It was usually served with wild rice–also a product of Minnesota. Wild rice comes from a marsh grass and is much harder than rice and therefore takes far more boiling time. Prepared properly, it’s fluffy, nutty and chewy; undercooked, it’s tough and unpleasant; overcooked it falls apart and is mushy. Start by simmering for 35 minutes. The grains should start to open by then but still be tooth tough. Go from there about 7 minutes at a time until the grains are open and plump, yet el dente.
As good as it is, wild rice is too intense and too chewy to eat straight (it’s also too expensive). So it needs some help while holding its own as the predominant taste. Here is a wild rice pilaf that I have favored for years, though I can’t say it came from Mom. It has a recipe within it,
which I try to avoid, but it’s a great dish and worth the effort.
Yield: About 8 servings
See abbreviations, if needed
5 scallions or spring onions, diced
1 carrot, finely and precisely diced (brunoise)
½ stalk celery, sliced large (it will be discarded)
1.5C wild rice
4C chicken broth
2T light EVOO
¼C chopped freshparsley
¼C chopped fresh mint leaves
2 oranges zest
½C chopped walnutsor pecans
½C basmati rice (or other long grain rice) prepared as basmati
1. Place wild rice in a large fine strainer and wash under cold running water until water is clear
2. BTB broth and water, RWV, wild rice, scallions, carrot, celery and pepper. Simmer covered until rice is plump, intact and tender, about 40-50 minutes, Taste as you go the last ten minutes
3. Prepare Basmati rice pilaf and set aside
4. Drain wild rice and remove celery parts.
5. Combine the rices in a bowl with EVOO and add the remaining ingredients. Taste. Add salt, toss and adjust seasoning
6. Serve warm or ambient.