Some dishes are strictly for the big people. Big people -at our house- is defined as anyone old enough to wear adult sized shoes. Conveniently, this line of demarcation also happens to fall right in place and divide the adventurous vegetable eating crew from the anti-veg contingent. I say this in the hopes that the anti-veg crew will ‘eat up’ from their current station and see a diet comprised of things that aren’t always brown as a rite of passage into adulthood. Seeing as they are already miffed at their elder brothers’ ability to stay up late to watch Psych and Top Chef with mom and dad, I feel confident this will work eventually.
In the meantime, these ‘strictly big people’ dishes are still getting made and presented. There are two reasons for this. First, I firmly believe that the more I offer a certain food, the likelier they are to eventually try it and like it. Second, and -frankly- more importantly, I make them because my husband and I like them. We aren’t about to hot dog and tater tot* our way through every meal just because we have kids.
*Super important: I love hot dogs and tater tots, too, but woman cannot live on tube steak alone.
What you see above is what makes this big people food in our house. The recipe I’m sharing is -without question- our favourite rice side dish. Earthy wild rice and fragrant brown basmati rice are cooked in chicken stock then tossed with tart dried cherries that plump up in the steam from the rice, scallions, and loads of fresh herbs. It is beyond perfect with fish, pork, chicken, beef, and venison. I love this pilaf so much that I deliberately over-make it so that I can have leftovers for breakfast and lunch the next day.
It’s not just delicious, though, even though it’s taste would be enough to recommend it. It is such a lovely dish with the thin black wild rice and the pale brown basmati, the vibrant green of the scallions, jalapeno, and herbs, and the deep black-red of the dried cherries that I can’t help but be a it proud every time I put a bowl of it on the table.
- My preferred method of preparing this is in a rice cooker. It can be done on the stove top, to be sure, but the consistent perfection, no-worries or guesswork ease that a rice cooker delivers make it hard to beat. I really recommend you have one if you eat a lot of rice, oatmeal, or other grains in your home. (Did you know a rice cooker doesn’t just cook rice? It’s true! Here’s an Amazon affiliate link for my favourite kind.
…and here’s another for one that’s a bit more of a bargain:
- Dried cherries are the star of this dish. Maybe I’m biased, being from Michigan originally, but I think the best (and most economically priced) dried cherries in the world come from the Grand Traverse Bay Area. They’re most often marketed as Montmorency County Cherries. I usually buy them in 4-pound packages from my BFF Amazon. Here’s an Amazon affiliate link to the ones that I keep stocked in my pantry at all times:
…and here’s one for no-sugar dried cherries if that’s your thing:
Brown and Wild Rice Pilaf with Dried Cherries and ScallionsRate Recipe
- 3/4 cup wild rice
- 1 cup brown basmati rice
- 4 1/4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup dried cherries
- 5 green onions trimmed then thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro can substitute parsley if you are averse to cilantro, roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley roughly chopped
- 1/2 of a fresh jalapeno stem and seeds removed, finely diced
Rice Cooker Instructions:
- Spray the rice cooker bowl with non-stick cooking spray or vegetable oil. Stir together the wild rice, brown basmati rice, stock, and salt. Close the rice cooker and start a "Brown Rice" cycle. When the cycle is complete, open the lid and quickly fluff the rice with a paddle or spoon. Scatter the cherries, green onions, cilantro, parsley, and jalapeno over the top, close the lid, and let steam for 10 minutes. When the 10 minutes have elapsed, use the rice paddle or spoon to toss the ingredients together. The cherries will have plumped slightly and the pilaf will smell very fragrant.
Stove top Instructions:
- Stir together the brown basmati rice, wild rice, stock, and salt in a heavy-bottomed 2 or 3 quart saucepan that has a tight fitting lid. Bring the mixture to a boil, stir twice, then cover tightly with the lid. Reduce the heat and simmer for 45 minutes (not lifting the lid!). When the time is up, open the lid, and quickly fluff the rice with a paddle or spoon. Scatter the cherries, green onions, cilantro, parsley, and jalapeno over the top, put the lid back on the pan, and let steam for 10 minutes. When the 10 minutes have elapsed, use the rice paddle or spoon to toss the ingredients together. The cherries will have plumped slightly and the pilaf will smell very fragrant.
Nutritional information is an estimate and provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.
did you make this recipe?
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Nutmeg Nanny says
This recipe looks so amazing and full of flavor, I can’t wait to try it!
Don’t know how I missed this the other day. Looks wonderful! However, the Amazon links to the rice cooker(s) and dried cherries are not there. . .
Do you have ad links blocked in your browser, Carroll? That might explain why they’re missing because my code shows them there. 😀
You can try another browser to view it Ooooooooor you can let me know and I’ll email you the links if you’d like to see them!
I do have ads blocked, but I also have an Amazon account so I would think it doesn’t matter – I can unblock temporarily and then reblock. Thanks.
I think ad blocking will remove all affiliate links, too. It depends on how tight you have your restrictions. 😀
Yup! I unblocked and the links appeared after I refreshed. At least I now know what you are talking about and if I need to see something, I can temporarily unblock. It’s all good, now I’m blocked again 🙂
Heehee! Thanks for experimenting on that with me!
Let’s see if it’s blocked in the comments section for you.
You’re welcome! No links showing up in the comments. At least now you’ll be able to troubleshoot if someone else comes up against this.
Love this flavor combination, wild rice and dried cherries are meant for each other. This is such a good side salad.
Lily (A Rhubarb Rhapsody) says
I haven’t had a rice salad in way too long and this recipe has just reminded me of how much I miss them!
Oh, why don’t I have any scallions? I’d make this tonight if I did! And I think it would be amazing with some goat cheese added! (Thanks for the parsley-subbing imprimatur, btw. I would anyway, being a soap-taster when it comes to cilantro, but nice of you not to imply that I’ll be ruining the dish by doing so.)
Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar says
Loving the dried cherries in there! This looks fab!
I love rice salads!! This looks fantastic.
Thanks, Aggie! I can’t explain just how much we love this dish. We even build meals around what we’ll serve with it!
Just hit my head on the screen. Thump. Scouring pantry to see if I have ingredients to add to tonight’s menu now!
I can’t wait to hear what you think of it!