Wild Rice Stuffing
Wild rice, true wild rice, the kind that is long and slender and foraged for, is such a delicious addition to a whole food diet. It has a chewy texture and a nutty, almost smoky flavour that work together to make it filling and satisfying. Wild rice is actually a grass rather than a rice. The grains are light to dark brown and are the seeds of the grasses often growing around Canadian freshwater lakes. Not only tasty, wild rice is also plentiful in the B vitamins folic acid and niacin as well as minerals including potassium, zinc and magnesium.
This stuffing makes both a delicious stuffing for a turkey and equally satisfying stuffed in a squash, pepper or just a casserole dish. A beautiful addition to a vegetarian or vegan table, a turkey loving family or as a alternative for your vegetarian or vegan dinner guest.
Wild Rice Stuffing
2 cups uncooked wild rice, water or broth to cook (see instructions below)
2 tbsp olive oil or butter
1 cup diced celery
3/4 cup diced onion
1 1/2 cups chopped apple (skin on), gala is nice
3/4 cup dried or fresh cranberries
2/3 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
1/2 lemon juiced
2 tbsp cashew or sunflower butter
fresh herbs - couple sage leaves, sprig or two of rosemary and thyme, no need to chop, just keep them whole (dried can also be used - about 3 tsp of a poultry spice blend)
about tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper
To garnish at the end - flat leaf parsley and another 1/2 of a lemon, salt and pepper
First, you need to cook the rice. This takes about 45 minutes, so you can do this ahead of time if you would like, even the day before. If you are using the stuffing to stuff a turkey, just cook it in water. If you are using it to stuff a pepper, squash or plain 'ol casserole dish, you may choose to cook it in a broth to add the flavour profile that would have come from the turkey. Rinse your rice. Add it to a pot big enough for the rice to double in size. If you are stuffing this in a turkey, add about 3 1/2 cups of water (you want the rice to be al dente as it will soak up juices in the bird), otherwise 4 cups of water or broth will suffice. Add a pinch of salt, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook away leaving the lid on.
In the meantime, dice up your celery, onion, apple and walnuts and have everything else ready as this is a quick assembly. When your rice is all cooked, proceed with the next steps.
On medium heat, warm up your pan (a cast iron pan is a great one) and add your olive oil (or butter if you are not cooking for vegans). Start with the celery and onion and sauté that for a couple of minutes. Add the cashew or sunflower butter and lemon juice. Mix around to "melt" it all together, this takes about 30 seconds. Add everything else, including the cooked wild rice. Combine well to coat everything. It is done (and, your kitchen smells amazing)!
Now you can stuff your turkey, pepper, squash or fill your casserole dish. If you are doing the dish thing, add about 1/2 cup of water or broth, cover and cook for about 40 minutes at 325F. Cook the other stuffed things as needed. Before serving, taste your stuffing. Make sure to season with salt and pepper and a bit of fresh lemon juice. Give it a stir, top with some diced fresh parsley and enjoy!
Of course you could add other vegetables to the stuffing. Leftovers are also delicious and freeze well.
Posted by Amy Buckman