Rice is like a staple food in my house and I can never have enough variation. This Fall Harvest Wild Rice makes a great side dish or even a week night dinner all by itself. Filled with vegetables and even apples for a bit of sweetness, it's makes a satisfying dish.
Well, I can honestly say we have had our share of rain this past week. What is it with this place? It's all or nothing. We can go six months or more with not a drop, easy. Then all of a sudden the skies open up and it's biblical. Even after 22 years of living here, it fascinates me.
One thing the rain does remind me of, is how difficult it is to do anything outside. Even just getting the wood into the house seems to be a pretty big effort on my part. Well, that's supposed to be the husband's chore, but he doesn't always get the timing right in that department. So, it's usually me ahead of the rain trying desperately to get enough wood in so we can stay cosy and warm and keep the damp days at bay.
So between the rain this past week and feeling like I've been run over by a truck, I've just not got a whole lot done. Saying that, I do love the rain. Just hard to appreciate it when you can hardly lift your head. Anyway, one of the things I love to do most in bad weather is to cook and bake. There's something really cosy about staying warm and listening to the pitter patter of rain outside.
But this week, cooking was lacking as I just didn't have a whole lot of energy. So, we relied mostly on what was in the freezer and quick and easy things that the family could actually prepare for themselves. Again, I wish someone else in my house could cook!
By Friday when I was finally feeling somewhat human and felt I could tackle the kitchen, I started looking through the pretty skeletal fridge to see what I could muster up. Mostly for myself as I felt I needed to eat something real that wasn't crackers. No offence crackers.
I didn't find much but enough to through together this rice dish. I had zero expectations, but it turned out delicious and I may have eaten about four portions through the entire day on Friday. Which was just as well because the kids didn't care for it too much. Well, their loss.
Let's take a little look how it's done.
First, if you're new here, hello! If you've been looking through the recipes, you'll probably notice an evolution shall we say...ha! All the older recipes, have just one photo and the recipe. I know, bland. Then it started to evolve to more photos, more talking, more explaining and the recipe. I kept it this way for a real long time and have been quite happy with that process. But for my own challenge, I've recently started doing step-by-step recipes. So, this is a pretty new thing and there aren't many recipes on the blog in this format. You can always Skip to recipe at the top of each blog post. Or you can follow along the story and the process.
Now, let's take a little look at this Fall Harvest Wild Rice and see how it comes together.
I diced all the vegetables pretty much the same size as you will see here in the photo below. They are probably about 1/2 inch in size, more or less. I would keep it small but it doesn't have to be exact. The mushrooms we'll get to after as we're not using them just yet.
I heated a large skillet over medium heat and added 1/2 of the oil, garlic and bay leaves. You just stir this for a minute or so until it's a bit fragrant. I like frying bay leaves and it adds a bit more flavour to the dish.
Then you just toss in the carrots, celery and onion. Give it a good stir and cook until it starts to soften, about 5 minutes. Don't add the apples yet, as we don't want to turn them to mush.
Now you add those apples. I pushed my vegetables out of the way to get the apples in the pan. Then just stirred them for a minute and incorporated them into the rest of the vegetables. This isn't really necessary, just what I did.
I sliced up the mushrooms as I didn't want them too tiny. Push all the vegetables to the side of the pan and toss in the mushrooms. Give them a really good stir and cook them for a few minutes until they start to brown. Incorporate them into the rest of the vegetables.
The vegetables will now look something like you see here. So, it's time to add the rice.
Push all the vegetables to one side of the pan and add the remaining oil. Add the rice and completely coat in the oil and fry it for about a minute. Then stir the rice into the vegetables.
Add all the stock at once and give it a quick stir. Reduce heat to low, cover and leave to cook for a further 15 minutes or until the liquid has all absorbed and the rice is cooked. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork.
This is a great make head dish for a pot luck as it can easily be eaten at room temperature.
I like to garnish a lot of my dishes, just because it looks pretty....ha! It's totally not necessary, but if you have a bit of parsley you can toss a bit on the top.
When I made this dish on Friday, I ate it for lunch fresh out of the pan. It was a great lunch. I also ate it for dinner later that evening at room temperature. And it was also great this way. So, it could be a great dish to take to a pot luck or even make in advance for a side dish if you struggling on time.
In the recipe below I say it serves six people. Well, servings are always suggestions as you never know how much or little people call a serving. This was a large pan and filled to the brim. You could probably easily get eight servings out of it as a side dish though.
When I was making this rice dish the other day, I was reminded of all the rice dishes you can buy in bags with all the ingredients in and you just add water. I don't even remember any of the brands out there as I haven't shopped that way in years. And I know it's super easy and I do remember them being pretty tasty. But they work out much more expensive than making your own from scratch. If you're feeding a family or a crowd, making your own flavoured wild rice from scratch is much more cost effective. And you get to control what ingredients to put in to add your own special touch.
So, next time you're in the pre-packaged rice isle, why not think about making your own. It's easy!
I have a few other wild rice recipes on the blog that you might like to try out or just try creating your own by using the same method. A few years back I made a Wild Rice Pilaf with Cranberries and Pine Nuts. It was so good and pretty festive looking as well. With American Thanksgiving coming up and Christmas just around the corner, it could be on to keep in mind.
Looking for something to serve with your Fall Harvest Wild Rice? Well, I can think of so many dishes off the top of my head. I think something like Honey Mustard Glazed Chicken or the Maple Glazed Chicken would be fantastic. Chicken dishes always go well with rice and if you have a little sauce to drizzle over the rice, even better!
I'll have a few more new recipes out this coming week ahead of the start of the December rush. And then all eyes will be on Christmas. And this year, I've got something fun to share on the blog. So, keep your eyes peeled for the 1st of December to see what I've got up my sleeve.
For now happy cooking friends and have a great Sunday. Cook something delicious today.
Fall Harvest Wild Rice
Serves 6 / Prep time: 15 minutes / Cook time: 30 minutes
2 Cups/380 grams wild rice
4 Cups/960 ml vegetable stock
2 Celery ribs, diced small
2 Carrots, diced small
1 Small onion, diced small
1 Apple, diced small
5 oz white mushrooms, sliced
3 Garlic cloves, crushed
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Bay leaves
1 Teaspoon salt
1 Teaspoon black pepper
Parsley for garnish, optional
In a large skillet set over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil with the garlic and bay leaves. Stir and cook until fragrant, about 1 -2 minutes.
Add the chopped carrots, celery and onion. Stir well until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the apples, stir and cook for a further 3-4 minutes. Push all the vegetables to the side of the pan and add the mushrooms. Stir the mushrooms and let them cook for about 3 -4 minutes until they start to brown
Push all the vegetables to one side of the pan. Add the remaining oil and rice. Give the rice a good stir and coat it completely in the oil and fry it for about a minute. Incorporate the rice into the vegetables. Add all the stock at once and the salt and pepper. Give it a quick stir. Reduce heat to low, cover and leave to cook for about 15 minutes. Stock will have absorbed and rice will be tender. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork before serving.
Can be served hot or at room temperature.
Click the downloadable link below to print recipe!
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