Easy Winter Recipes: Wild Rice and Squash Pilaf

Favorite recipes using dried herbs for flavor and convenience.

| February/March 1996

  • Warmth and aroma rise from this table laden with Crusty Deviled Chicken, Wild Rice Pilaf, and Herb-Roasted Garlic.

Serves 4 to 6

Jay Solomon, an Ithaca, New York, chef and author of several vegetarian cookbooks, offers this wholesome pilaf with the grassy aroma of wild rice and the earthy scents of oregano and thyme. Butternut squash and red bell peppers provide sweet nuances and playful ­colors. Serve it as a side dish with roast chicken or broiled fish or, for a vegetarian main course, fold in one 15-ounce can of red kidney beans or chick peas (drained and rinsed) when the basmati rice is tender.

• 1/2 cup wild rice
• 1 3/4 cups water
• 1 tablespoon canola oil
• 1 medium yellow onion, diced
• 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 tablespoon dried oregano, crumbled
• 1 teaspoon dried thyme
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
• 2 1/2 cups hot water
• 2 cups peeled, diced butternut squash
• 1 1/4 cups white basmati rice or long-grain white rice
• 2–3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (optional)

1. In a small saucepan, combine the wild rice and 1 3/4 cups water and bring to a simmer. Cover the pan and cook over low heat for 40 minutes, or until the wild rice is tender. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside for 10 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, heat the oil. Add the onion, bell pepper, and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes. Stir in the seasonings and sauté for 30 seconds longer. Stir in the hot water, squash, basmati rice, and cooked wild rice. Bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes, or until the basmati rice is tender. Fluff the pilaf with the optional parsley. Remove the pan from the heat and let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

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