“Flowers are the sweetest things God ever made, and forgot to put a soul into.” ~Henry Beecher

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Pineapple Wild Rice

Wild rice is something I don’t prepare so much but I love it’s nutty, chewiness. It's wonderful in holiday stuffings with apricots and nuts. Earlier, I posted a recipe for a barley and wild rice pilaf made with pomegranates that I like to make when pomegranates are in season. But I didn't want to wait for that, so I decided to experiment with other flavors. Wild rice is actually not a rice at all, but an aquatic grass seed, that grows to several feet above the water. Compared to true varieties of rice, though, wild rice packs a greater abundance of nutrients. It’s a valuable source of protein and fiber, is low in unsaturated fat, and provides significant levels of B vitamins, folate, potassium, magnesium, copper, phosphorous, manganese, and zinc.

This time of year, I like to prepare cold sides and salads and decided to do that with the rice. The recipe below uses ingredients commonly found in pineapple salsa. At first, I wasn’t sure if the nuttiness of the rice would work with the citrus, but as a cold dish, I thought the flavors worked really well. I’m all about soaking nuts, beans, and grains now to increase their nutritional value and to neutralize toxins, and I’ve done the same with the wild rice. If nothing else, it cuts down on the cooking time. This rice normally takes 45 minutes to cook, but after soaking, it’s ready in 15 minutes.

Pineapple Wild Rice

1 c uncooked wild rice

1 c diced fresh pineapple with juice

2 T diced red onion

2 T finely chopped green onion

2 T diced green or red pepper

1 T minced jalapeno pepper

2 T chopped cilantro

2 T lime juice

2 T lemon juice

2 T honey

1 T olive, coconut, or grapeseed oil (optional)

sea salt and freshly ground pepper

1. In advance, wash and soak the wild rice in clean water for several hours. Drain.

2. Add 3 cups of water and the rice to a medium pot. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover, and cook the rice until chewy, about 15 minutes.

3. While the rice is cooking, combine the pineapple, onions, peppers, and cilantro.

4. Whisk together the lime and lemon juices, honey, oil, and a dash of salt and pepper. Let sit.

5. Drain and rinse the rice in cold water, and drain well.

6. When the rice is cooled, add it to the salsa mixture and mix well. Chill for 2 hours or more in the fridge. Adjust the seasonings before serving.

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