This delectable dish of black or wild rice, corn, and cranberries is a festive eyeful, but it’s too good to save for only special occasions, and too simple not to make for everyday meals. It makes a gorgeous holiday side dish, or, stuffed into small squashes, a great vegan main dish. Recipe from Vegan Holiday Kitchen by Nava Atlas. Photo by Susan Voisin.
- 1 cup forbidden black rice (see note) or wild rice
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 to 4 scallions, green and white parts, thinly sliced
- 2 cups thawed frozen corn kernels
- ¼ cup lemon or lime juice, or to taste
- ¼ to ½ cup chopped cilantro leaves, to taste
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- ¼ cup toasted pumpkin seeds for topping
- If using forbidden rice, combine in a saucepan with 2 cups water. Bring to a rapid simmer, then lower the heat, cover, and simmer gently until the water is absorbed, about 30 minutes. If you’d like a more tender grain, add ½ cup additional water and cook until absorbed. If using wild rice, combine with 3 cups water and cook as directed above.
- Just before the rice is done, heat half of the oil in a large skillet. Add the garlic and sauté over low heat until golden. Add the scallions and corn kernels and sauté just until warmed through.
- Transfer the cooked rice to the skillet. Turn the heat up to medium high, then add the lime juice, cilantro, cumin, oregano, thyme cranberries, and remaining oil. Stir together gently, then season to taste with salt and pepper.
- To serve, transfer to an attractive serving platter and sprinkle the pumpkin seeds over the top.
Note: Look for black (forbidden) rice in the specialty grains section of natural foods stores and well-stocked supermarket, sometimes labeled as forbidden rice.