Presented by Kristin Hamaker of Goosefoot Kitchen, Mississippi Market’s exclusive chef partner.
True wild rice is a native Minnesotan food, and we should celebrate the fact. Earthy and comforting, wild rice is highly nutritious, packed with B vitamins, fiber, and protein. There are two types of wild rice, native (manoomin), which is lighter in color and flavor and quicker to cook, and cultivated, which is darker and richer. Yes, it is pricier than its white or brown cousins, but wild rice swells up to 4 times its size, making it a good value; 1 cup of dried rice=6 servings. You can freeze any leftovers, and please save the “broth” it’s cooked in, since it is so delicious and can be added to soup as a base.
Kosher or sea salt
1 cup wild rice (true wild, or cultivated)
Optional ingredients as listed in Notes & Variations below
1. Rinse 1 cup of wild rice very well under a cool tap. If you don’t have a fine-mesh strainer, then swish your rice well in a large bowl in water, drain carefully by tilting out the dirty water; repeat. Add your rice to a small-medium sized saucepan, cover with fresh cool water by 2 inches. Add a good pinch of kosher or sea salt, and bring to a boil.
2. Once your rice water has come to a boil, lower its heat to a gentle simmer, and cover. For native wild rice, which is lighter in color, this will take about 20 minutes. For cultivated wild rice, which is darker in color, it will take at least twice as long to cook. Stir your rice from time to time, and check on its simmer.
3. Is your rice finished? It should be tender, but with a just a bit of chew and bite back. You’re looking for the rice to puff, and its inner lighter part made visible. Drain, add back into your pan, and cover. Let it sit for 5 minutes and fork to enliven and separate. Serve as is, undressed, or look below for variations.
Notes & Variations
Once you’ve drained your rice and added it back to the pot, you can always perk it up by adding a slice of butter or walnut oil and/or minced herbs.
Consider doubling or tripling the amount of rice and freeze it for future use, such as in soups or salads. Save and freeze the delicious wild rice “broth”. It can be added to soups that include wild rice, as a stock.
Consider wild rice as a breakfast cereal: in a small saucepan, add 1/3 cup native wild rice, 1/3 cup short-grain white rice, a pinch of salt, a bit of dried fruit (optional), and 4-5 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then simmer partially covered, about 40 minutes, or until the rice is cooked; serve with milk and any other sweetener you like.
Consider wild rice as a warm salad: fluff your cooked wild rice, adding a toasted nut such as walnut, almond, or pecan, lemon zest (from ½ of a lemon), a drizzle of walnut or olive oil, chopped fresh herb such as parsley, thyme, or tarragon, dried fruit, and some sea salt and pepper.
Learn more with Kristin at our East 7th store kitchen classroom on January 28th. Join us on this good food journey as we learn how to re-skill ourselves in the art of eating well.