For most Americans, next week is the week to travel, if you’re going to, or have the house fill up with guests for Thanksgiving. We, however, are starting early. Our school’s Grandparents/Special Friends Day is Friday, so tomorrow Alexi’s mother and stepfather are arriving. I haven’t gotten so far as to put sheets on the guest bed, fresh towels in the bathroom, or vacuum, but I have stocked the kitchen, and I’ve cooked. Everything will somehow come together or it won’t, and either way, we’ll all be glad to see each other. This afternoon I prepared a chicken for roasting tomorrow night, and made a salad for these Minnesotan, wild rice-loving relatives.
I’ve been making this for over a decade. Every time I share it with a crowd, I end up giving out the recipe. I’ve made it for Thanksgiving on more than one occasion.
Nutted Wild Rice
Slightly adapted from The Silver Palate Cookbook by Julee Rosso & Sheila Lukins
1 cup (1/2 pound) raw wild rice
5 ½ cups chicken stock or water
1 cup shelled pecan halves
1 cup yellow raisins
zest from 1 orange
¼ cup chopped fresh mint
4 scallions (green onions), thinly sliced
¼ cup olive oil
1/3 cup fresh orange juice
1 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Put the rice in a strainer and rinse it thoroughly under cold water.
Place the rice in a medium sized heavy saucepan. Add the stock or water, and bring it to a rapid boil. Adjust the heat to a gentle simmer, and cook, uncovered, for 45 minutes. After 30 minutes check the rice for doneness; you don’t want it to get too soft. Place a thin towel inside a colander and turn the rice into the colander to drain. Transfer the drained rice to a bowl.
Add the remaining ingredients to the rice; toss gently. Adjust the seasonings to taste. Let the mixture stand at least 2 hours to allow the flavors to develop. Serve at room temperature.
Yield: 6 portions