Wild and Basmati Rice with Cranberries and Candied Hazelnuts

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Wild and Basmati Rice with Cranberries and Candied Hazelnuts

Given that wild rice is an iconic product grown in Manitoba, pulling it into a festive menu was simply too important not to include. Plus, the nutritional benefits outweigh many alternatives—especially with the addition of turmeric. This delicious rice is nutty, a bit sweet, a bit savoury, and a bit tart; paired with high-in-antioxidant berries and a delicious lacing of fresh herbs, this is a perfect side dish for the Three-Way Mixed Holiday Grill.

Tip: Locally grown turmeric?

Although turmeric originated in India, it’s widely cultivated around the world in mostly tropical and subtropical regions. But industrious farm hobbyists are beginning to successfully grow turmeric in Canada. With the right climate and proper care, it’s showing some success in areas where climate is warmer.

Ingredients

1/2 cup (125 mL) wild rice, rinsed and drained

3/4 cup (180 mL) basmati rice, rinsed and drained

2 Tbsp (30 mL) extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus extra

1/2 tsp (2 mL) kosher salt, divided

1 cup (250 mL) boiling water

2 Tbsp (30 mL) maple syrup

1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) crushed dried red chilies

1/2 tsp (2 mL) turmeric

1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup (125 mL) fresh hazelnuts

1 sweet onion, thinly sliced

2 cups (500 mL) baby spinach leaves, washed and spun dry

1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped flat-leaf parsley

1/4 cup (60 mL) chopped fresh mint

1/4 cup (60 mL) chopped fresh dill

1 Tbsp (15 mL) fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup (60 mL) dried cranberries or goji berries

Directions

In medium saucepan, add wild rice and cover with 3 cups (750 mL) water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and gently cook, covered, for 35 to 40 minutes. Rice should still be a bit firm. Drain and rinse in cold water. Drain and spread out on cloth-lined baking
sheet to dry.

In another medium saucepan, add basmati rice, 1 Tbsp (15 mL) olive oil, and 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt and stir. Add boiling water, cover, and simmer over low heat for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, remove lid, place cloth tea towel overtop, and place lid back on top. Set aside for 10 minutes. Remove lid and cloth and cool completely.

Heat oven to 350 F (180 C). Line baking sheet with parchment paper. In small bowl, combine maple syrup, chili flakes, turmeric, 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt, and black pepper. Stir to blend. Add hazelnuts and stir to coat. Spread out on prepared baking sheet and roast in preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until toasted and crunchy. Remove. Cool on baking sheet. Then coarsely chop. Set aside.

In large wok or heavy saucepan, heat 1 Tbsp (15 mL) oil. Add sliced onion and sauté over medium-high heat until softened. Add a splash of water if onion begins to stick. Add cooked wild and basmati rice and stir-fry over medium-high heat until some basmati grains begin to get crispy. Fold in spinach and cook just until it begins to wilt, about 2 more minutes.

Remove and fold in fresh herbs. Sprinkle with lemon juice, candied chopped hazelnuts, and dried cranberries. Drizzle with a little extra olive oil before serving, if
you wish.

Each serving contains: 265 calories; 6 g protein; 11 g total fat (1 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 38 g total carbohydrates (6 g sugars, 3 g fibre); 211 mg sodium

Source: Super Festive Feast

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