Fruited Wild Rice

Pair with thumbprint cellars climax, Dry Creek Valley

Serves 8 to 10
(Based on a recipe found in Gourmet Vegetarian Feasts, Martha Rose Shulman, Thorsons, 1987)
Serve as a side dish or stuff a squash such as kabocha, buttercup or white pumpkin with this mixture. In any case it is delicious.

  • 1 ½ cups wild rice
  • 4 ½ cups water
  • 1 cup chopped dried raisins, cranberries and tart cherries, or your favorite thumbprint red wine or sherry to cover the dried fruit
  • 2 small apples, peeled, cored, cut in half crosswise and sliced thinly
  • 1 large pear, peeled, cored and sliced
  • ½ cup slivered almonds
  • 2 tablespoons apple juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon allspice
  • ½ teaspoon cardamom
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Cook wild rice in the water for 55 to 60 minutes until the rice grains are split open (or cook in the pressure cooker with 3 cups water for 25 minutes at high pressure with a natural pressure release). When done, drain rice from cooking water and put in a large bowl.

While the rice is cooking, soak the dried fruit in red wine or sherry to cover. Drain fruit after 30 minutes and set aside. (You can save the red wine or sherry in the refrigerator for future soaking, use it in salad dressing, for a stir-fry or an after dinner drink.)

Heat a large heavy skillet over medium heat and sauté apples, pears and almonds about 2 minutes. Add the apple juice and continue to cook for a few more minutes. Add 1 tablespoon honey, spices, cooked wild rice, drained fruit and salt to taste. Stir consistently for a few more minutes. Correct seasonings, adding lots of pepper if you like it. Remove from heat. Serve mounded on a plate or stuff into a partially pre-baked squash and bake in the oven at 350 degrees F. for 30 to 45 minutes until the squash is thoroughly cooked and the filling is hot.

By Jill Nussinow, MS, RD from The Veggie Queen: Vegetables Get the Royal Treatment