There are things you learn when you marry a Minnesotan. First, change the name of your enchilada casserole to enchilada hot dish and you’ve got a winner. Second, wild rice matters. Like REALLY matters.
And never ever try to buy the cultivated stuff. Cultivated wild rice is much easier to find in grocery stores and looks like perfectly even long black rice. It takes over an hour to cook it as the outer kernel is so tough. And you can pretty much guarantee it was treated with pesticides.
Natural, or hand-picked, wild rice might be a bit harder to come by but it’s worth it. First, it cooks in about half the time as the commercial stuff, meaning it retains more nutrients. I think it has a much better flavor, it’s more nutty and woodsy. This is probably because it is ‘toasted’ over an open fire within 24 hours of harvesting 🙂 Also, most companies that sell hand-picked wild rice employee native Minnesotans, helping preserve an ancient food way in our modern economy.
We usually pick up a pound when we visit Minnesota and M’s family but this winter we were given a pint sized baggie of home grown and harvested wild rice. This ranks right up there is our local Columbus honey as my favorite way to ‘f’ you to corporate food culture. I’m torn between wanting to eat it all right away and hoarding it forevers. Our favorite things to make with wild rice include: wild rice soup, winter salad, or to just eat it as a side dish.
How to cook wild rice: yield 3 times dry volume
Cover one part wild rice with two parts water. I usually do 1/2 rice to 1 cup water for the two of us. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce to a simmer. Let simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, until rice is tender. Drain thru a wire steamer. Place steam in pot with an inch of water on the bottom and steam rice for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve immediately. M prefers to top his with maple syrup.
Do you eat wild rice? How to you like to prepare it? We’re always looking for new recipes!