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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Wild Rice Pilaf with Spinach and Shiitake


This simple side dish can accompany a wide variety of other courses. I served it with grilled wild salmon, but it would also pair well with grass-fed beef, venison, duck, turkey or chicken. Or make it part of a vegetarian feast.

1 cup dry wild rice, cooked*
2 tbsp butter
1 medium onion, chopped
6 large shiitake mushroom caps, thinly sliced (reserve the stems for stock)
2 cloves garlic
Sea salt
1 cup thawed and drained frozen chopped spinach
1/2 cup pine nuts, raw or toasted in a dry skillet over low heat
Ground peppercorn

* To cook the wild rice, pre-soak it if you have time then simmer it in a generous amount of water with a pinch of sea salt until tender but not mushy, and drain. The individual grains of rice should not have all split open and they should have a tender but still-chewy texture.

Warm the butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Sauté the onion until starting to brown. Add the mushrooms and cook until they become tender.

Grate in the garlic and stir until it becomes aromatic, about 30 seconds. Stir in a pinch of sea salt, then add the pine nuts and spinach, breaking apart the clumps of leaves as you drop them in. Reduce the heat to low and continue cooking until the mixture is hot.

Serve immediately or cover and set aside for up to 2 hours. If you are making it further in advance, transfer it to the fridge once it cools to room temperature.

Serves 6 to 8

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