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In Season: Wild Rice Pilaf

Ingredients

  • 1 cup wild rice
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon butter
  • 1/8 cup chopped dried apricots
  • 1/8 cup dried cherries
  • 1/2 cup toasted hazelnuts, chopped (see technique at right)
  • 2 shallots, peeled and minced
  • Zest of one orange
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Preparation

For toasted hazelnuts: Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread whole hazelnuts on a baking sheet and toast for about 15 minutes. The nuts will be fragrant and the skins split. Put nuts in a dish to cool, then rub them with a towel to remove as much skin as possible. Chop the nuts. For pilaf: Rinse wild rice well in a colander and drain. Place rice, water and salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 45 minutes to one hour, or until rice has puffed and most of the liquid has been absorbed. Uncover the pot, toss in the remaining ingredients and add salt and pepper to taste. May be made ahead and reheated, covered, in a low oven. Serves 4–6.