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The Best Wild Rice

The best Wild Rice recipe! Tender wild rice tossed with vegetables, currants and pecans and cooked in an orange-vermouth broth. Very delicious!

Whenever I see a recipe that claims to be “the best” of anything – I’m a natural skeptic!  So the fact that we’re calling this recipe, “The Best Wild Rice” must mean that we’re on to something good!

This dish was given its name in The Nantucket Table cookbook, and I think it’s as beautiful to look at as it is delicious to eat!

The wild rice is first soaked overnight to soften.  Then it’s cooked together with sautéed carrots, onions and celery in a vegetable broth that has been flavored with orange juice and vermouth.  Some sweet currants are added to the pot of rice right at the end, and then the whole thing is tossed with some toasted pecans for crunch and some scallions for some bright fresh flavor!

The best Wild Rice recipe! Tender wild rice tossed with vegetables, currants and pecans and cooked in an orange-vermouth broth. Very delicious!

This is a rich and flavorful side dish that is delicious served hot right off the stovetop, or it can be served at room temperature the following day.  The nutty flavor of the wild rice (which is actually not really a rice at all – it’s an aquatic grass, and the ‘rice’ we are cooking in this dish are the seeds!) is perfectly complemented with a balance of savory and sweet flavors to create some of the best wild rice we’ve ever had!

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The Best Wild Rice

The Best Wild Rice - A Family Feast

A few notes: Depending on the quality of the wild rice you buy, the cooking time may vary. We used a high-quality rice and it was cooked in 40 minutes. Yours may take longer. Also note that the rice must soak overnight. Prep time listed does not include the overnight soaking time.

  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 40 mins
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups wild rice
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup finely chopped carrots (about 2 medium carrots)
  • ½ cup finely chopped celery (about 2 stalks)
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion (about 1 medium onion)
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • ½ cup white vermouth
  • 2 ½ cups vegetable broth
  • 1/3 cup currants
  • ½ cup pecan pieces
  • 4 medium scallions, tops and bottoms roughly chopped

Instructions

  1. In a bowl, add rice with at least double the volume of water. Soak uncovered, overnight, at room temperature. Drain the next day before use.
  2. In a large sauté pan, place butter and one tablespoon of the oil and add carrots, celery and onion. Cook over medium heat for five minutes.
  3. Add drained rice, orange juice, vermouth and broth. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer and cook uncovered for 35 – 55 minutes (until almost all the liquid is absorbed and rice is tender). Add currants and turn to low and cook five minutes to absorb remaining liquid then turn off burner. Wild rice remains a little chewy and crunchy, which is perfectly fine.
  4. Just before rice is done, in a small sauté pan, heat remaining tablespoon of oil over medium heat and add pecans. Toss and cook for about five minutes until browned. Add scallions, toss and immediately remove from the heat and add to the cooked rice.
  5. Stir and serve hot or serve room temperature as a side salad.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.  Recipe gently adapted from The Nantucket Table cookbook.

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  1. Oooh, I love wild rice! I’ve always found it has much more flavor and texture than its white and brown counterparts. I’ll have to try this preparation.

  2. Heather Lampman :

    Hi Martha! I have two questions: are the currants dried? If so, where did you buy them?
    And, what would you recommend as a “high quality” wild rice? Thanks!

    • Hi Heather! Yes – the currants are dried and we were able to find them at our local supermarket in the same section as the raisins (SunMaid brand). For the wild rice, we’ve used Bob’s Redmill which we think is an excellent quality choice. Hope that helps! Martha