Mmmmm . . . I love the nuttiness of Wild Rice and I am constantly on the look out for new ways of preparing it.
Wild rice is the grain from four species of grasses of the genus Zizania, which has been historically gathered and eaten in both North America and China. This type of rice grain has a chewy outer sheath with a tender inner grain that has a slightly nutty taste. Because of its nutritional value and taste, wild rice increased in popularity in the late 20th century, and commercial cultivation began in the US and Canada to supply the increased demand. Typically sold as a dried whole grain, wild rice is high in protein, the amino acid lysine, dietary fiber, B Vitamins, minerals, it is low in fat, and like other rice varieties it is gluten free.
I found this recipe from Yotam Ottolenghi , a London based chef who is a rising star of the cooking world. His food tends to combine simple raw ingredients with influences from his Mediterranean background. I am already familiar with Ottolenghi’s vegetarian cookbook “Plenty“, which I borrowed from a friend a while ago, and was very sad to have to give back. This made me very excited to find out that he shares recipes on his website and in his weekly Guardian newspaper column. I think I will be spending some time on the Guardian website this weekend. Still, I would love to have the cook book in my collection . . . wink, wink,nudge, nudge . . .
Wild Rice Salad
by: Yotam Ottolenghi
- 250g/1 1/4 cups wild rice
- 60g/ 1/3 cup peeled pistachio (I used almonds because I had them around the house)
- 150g soft dried apricot, soaked in hot water for 5 minutes
- 1 small bunch of mint, leaves picked
- 1 small bunch of rocket
- 3 spring onions, roughly chopped
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large clove of garlic, crushed
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Place the rice in a large pot and cover with water, bring to the boil then reduce the heat and cook for 30-40 minutes, depending on the variety, or until the rice is cooked aldente. Alternatively you can cook the rice in a rice cooker with 2 1/2 cups of water. Drain the rice and rinse under cold water.
While the rice is cooking, roast the pistachio or almonds in a dry pan over a medium heat for 8-10 minutes. Coarsely chop them with a large knife. Drain the apricot and coarsely chop them too.
In a bowl mix the rice, apricots and pistachios, and then add the rest of the ingredients, toss well and season with salt and pepper to taste.