Add wild rice to your Thanksgiving menu

Just harvested grains of wild rice.

I’m deviating from travel posts to share a few recipes after seeing the huge interest in earlier wild rice posts.

One dish become almost as important as turkey and mashed at our family Thanksgivings since friends shared the original recipe in the 1970s. It has since spanned the globe from Hawaii to Germany.

It’s designed for cultivated wild rice, which requires longer to cook. If you’re using the hand-harvested truly wild rice, it only takes about 20 minutes. We usually double the recipe so there is extra to freeze or make creamy wild rice soup with the leftovers.

Read more about great restaurants serving wild rice or the difference between hand-harvested and cultivated wild rice in earlier posts.

Wild rice soaked overnight.
Wild rice with mushrooms & pecans
This recipe has followed us from Hawaii to Germany as we’ve shared it with everyone. We often double it and use leftovers for a creamy wild rice soup.
4 T. butter
2 T. grated carrot
2T. finely diced celery
2 T. finely diced onion
1 C. wild rice (let it soak overnight & drain it)
1 tsp. salt
2 C. chicken broth
½ lb. mushrooms, coarsely chopped
2 T. finely chopped fresh parsley
¼ C. finely chopped pecans (or almonds)

Melt 2 T. butter over medium heat until it foams. Add vegetables and cook, stirring occasionally, 10-15 min. They should be soft but not brown. Stir in cup of rice plus salt. Cook 2-3 minutes. Add broth and bring to a boil. Cover pan tightly, turn heat to low and let cook undisturbed for 45 minutes until rice is tender and liquid absorbed. About 10 minutes before rice is ready, melt remaining 2 T. of butter. Add mushrooms and parsley and cook about 5 min. Add pecans & cook 2-3 more minutes. Add to rice and fluff with a fork. Enjoy!

Wild Rice with cherries and red pepper
This is a more unexpected version of a wild rice side dish that’s served at Quivey’s Grove, a restaurant in Madison, Wis. It’s one of my most memorable dining experiences for the historic atmosphere and their focus on traditional Wisconsin ingredients. The dried cherries sweetly complement the nutty taste of wild rice.

2 T. olive oil

3 T. white wine
1 minced shallot
1/2 leek (the white part) cleaned and finely diced
1 finely diced celery rib
1/2 half finely diced red bell pepper
1/2 t. coriander
1/2 T. fresh sage
1/2 C. dried cherries
1 C. wild rice
3 C. chicken broth
Rinse the wild rice well in a colander under cold, running water. Saute the leek, celery, and pepper in the olive oil and wine. Heat the stock. Add the rice and stir to coat thoroughly. Add the spices and dried cherries. Add the simmering stock and cover. Simmer gently until all the liquid is absorbed, about 30 minutes. 4 servings.