Wild Rice Pilaf with Spinach and Almonds
Filled with earthy flavors, this wild and brown rice pilaf, enlivened with lots of spinach and parsley, is welcome as a side dish for everyday meals as well as special occasions.
Serves: 6 to 8 as a side dish
- 2/3 cup raw wild rice
- 2/3 cup raw long-grain brown rice
- 3 1/2 cups water with 1 vegetable bouillon cube
- 2 tablespoons olive oil or a fragrant nut oil
- 1 medium red onion, finely chopped
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 to 6 ounces fresh baby spinach, rinsed
- Juice of 1/2 lemon, or more or less to taste
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme or basil
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/3 cup lightly toasted slivered almonds
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Rinse the wild and brown rice and combine them in a saucepan with the water and bouillon cube. Bring to a gentle boil, then lower the heat and cover. Simmer gently until the water is absorbed, about 35 minutes. Remove from heat.
Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and sauté over medium-low heat until translucent. Add the celery and garlic and continue to sauté until the onion is lightly browned.
Add the spinach, in two batches if needed. Cover and cook just until it wilts down, which will take 30 to 45 seconds.
Stir in the cooked wild and brown rice mixture along with the lemon juice, parsley, thyme, and cumin. Cook for 5 minutes over low heat, stirring frequently. Stir in the slivered almonds, season with salt and pepper, and serve at once.
Variation: Add 4 to 6 ounces stemmed and sliced mushrooms (cremini and shiitake) after step two, and cook until wilted before adding the spinach.