Thursday, July 12, 2012

Wild Rice Pilaf

As young newlyweds, my husband and I began looking for ways to establish our own family traditions, including adding non-traditional foods that we both loved into our holiday meals. The first Thanksgiving we shared after we were married was bittersweet. It was the first time we stayed home for a holiday.We had family coming to our house for the afternoon. We weren't alone, but it was just...different. It signified the fact that we were adults now, with a home of our own. It was a little sad....until the cooking began. 

I made my first pumpkin pies. Mashed potatoes. Gravy. Seitan. Green bean casserole. Stuffing. And my mother-in-law brought this amazing wild rice pilaf. The nuttiness of the rice paired with the sweetness of the dried fruit made it an instant holiday tradition. That, and fresh cranberry salad. Over the years we have enjoyed many additions to our holiday meals, but the wild rice pilaf is always present---except the year we enjoyed a traditional mexican meal for Thanksgiving. 

3 cups mixture of half short grain brown rice and wild rice, cooked
1/3 cup coarsely chopped roasted almonds (or you could use pecans, but I like almonds better)
2/3 cup dried cranberries
1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 stalks celery, sliced (wash and remove leaves, of course)
Olive oil

Sauté onion and celery in a small amount of olive oil until soft; add garlic. Add cranberries and continue to sauté a moment longer. Add salt to taste. Add rices to pan and stir to combine. Allow to warm completely through, check for seasonings, then add roasted almonds.

Serve and enjoy! This really tastes best made a day ahead and reheated. 

Serves 4-6

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