Wild Rice and Sprouts Pilaf is the perfect side dish to any holiday meal. Any meal for that matter. With long grain and wild rice simmered with Brussels sprouts and thick cut bacon, it’s a side dish your family will love!
It’s the last day of #HolidaySideDishes! I hope you all have enjoyed the recipes we shared this week. I know I have. Especially mine, but that’s because I’m biased.
When I was growing up, we tried to make as much as we could from scratch. People look at me like I’m crazy when I say I didn’t have hamburger helper or premade rice mixes until I was in college. At least not that I can remember.
And the blue box macaroni and cheese?
Rarely if ever. Because the homemade rice pilaf and macaroni and cheese we made was way better. It beat the pants off all those premade mixes and boxed dinners. Besides, it didn’t have as much salt and other extra fake stuff in it and that the pre-made box mixes do. So, we all know that’s healthier.
So, while some people were pulling out a box of rice mix, I was pulling out pieces of vermicelli from the bottom of the box. As I was doing that, Dad would sauté some onions. We would get some garlic, make some chicken broth using some bullion, and heat up a pan.
Most rice pilaf recipes follow pretty much the same pattern if you will. You sauté some aromatics in a pan. This can be onions, vegetables, meats. Pretty much anything that you want to flavor the rice pilaf with.
In this case I started with some delicious thick cut bacon.
I put that in the pan to crisp up. Then I added the Brussels sprouts. Once the aromatics begin to soften then it’s time to add the rice and pasta. Except I did not use pasta in this recipe. I had wild rice instead.
Adding the rice and the pasta to the pan to toast up gives it an extra level of flavor. I don’t like to skip this step. I really like to get the rice and the pasta a nice brown color before I add in any of the stock.
When you cook the rice, you’ll notice that it will change to a whiter color than its usual color. I tried to find out why it does this, but I didn’t have much luck. If you happen to find out, please let me know in a comment.
Once the rice has turned white and the pasta, if you’re using it, is a golden brown then it’s time to add the broth. You add the broth with any herbs or spices you plan on using.
I typically shy away from adding salt and pepper now. I’m very sensitive to salt. using a premade broth or broth concentrate typically adds enough salt for my taste. but I do check for flavor before I serve it and that’s what I want to add extra salt if needed.
So, about the wild rice.
Every time we go to the Minnesota State Fair, my stepfather goes through the discount books that they buy and finds the great deals. He’s really good at finding the great deals. There is no question about that.
The last time we were at the fair there was a booth that was selling wild rice pretty cheap. They were also giving away a free box of quick cooking wild rice. Hence the quick cooking wild rice in this recipe. Somewhere in the pantry is half of the bag that we purchased because we split half of the bag with my mother.
I can only guess that Minnesota has a cornerstone of US production on wild rice. But don’t quote me on that one. I’d have to look that up and I don’t want you right now. Maybe when I get around to cooking the regular wild rice then I will talk about Minnesota and it’s wild rice directions.
If you don’t know wild rice is not actually rice.
It’s actually the grain of a grass. Yes, wild rice is actually grass seed. Wild rice is typically a delicacy in the United States there is a a wild rice species in China.
But they don’t eat the rice as much as we do. They take the grass stock and cut it up as a vegetable and eat that instead of the grain that we eat. It’s surprising how much nutrition is in weeds and grasses that grow in Wetland areas.
Surprisingly enough the cat tail has an enormous amount of nutrition in it. They were even planning on using it to feed soldiers in World War II right before it ended. You can eat the rhizomes, which are the outbound roots of the plant as it is trying to regenerate itself.
You can eat the stalk and the interior stalk like a bamboo shoot. You can even eat the cat tail itself called the corn as it is forming. I only know this because we have a few cattails in the area, and someone sent me a book about foraging for your food.
Hopefully you will not have to forage for your wild rice because after seeing how delicious this bowl of wild rice and sprouts pilaf looks, you will want to make some. If you don’t have or can’t find quick cooking wild rice, there’s notes in the recipe for making wild rice in the pressure cooker and on the stove.
Wild Rice and Sprouts Pilaf is the perfect side dish to any holiday meal. Any meal for that matter. With long grain and wild rice simmered with Brussels sprouts and thick cut bacon, it’s a side dish you’re family will love!
- 5 slices thick sliced bacon
- 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 3 cups thinly sliced Brussels sprouts
- 1/2 cup long grain basmati rice (or your long grain white rice of choice)
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon rubbed sage
- 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 cup quick cooking wild rice*
- Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook until crisp.
- Stir in the sprouts and cook until crisp tender.
- Add the basmati rice and cook 1 to 2 minutes before stirring in the spices and the chicken stock.
- Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat to a low simmer. Cook the mixture for 15 minutes.
- Stir in the quick cooking wild rice and cook and additional 5 to 7 minutes or until the wild rice is cooked through.
- Fluff before serving.
*If you do not have quick cooking wild rice, then you can make some before hand and stir in at the end.
Stir 1 cup of rinsed, wild rice into 1 1/3 cups of water. Cook on 15 minutes high pressure. Allow for 10 minutes of natural pressure release before releasing the remaining pressure manually.
Bring 3 cups of water to a boil. Stir in 1 cup of rinsed wild rice and simmer 40 to 45 minutes or until the rice is tender and chewy. Strain any remaining liquid before stirring into the pilaf.
Amount Per Serving Calories 126Total Fat 4gSaturated Fat 1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 2gCholesterol 12mgSodium 828mgCarbohydrates 16gFiber 3gSugar 2gProtein 7g
Holiday Side Dish Recipes:
- Air Fried Green Beans with Crispy Onions by West Via Midwest
- Apple and Kohlrabi Slaw by A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Balsamic Brussels Sprouts with Bacon by Lemon Blossoms
- Buttery Pearl Barley Mushroom Pilaf by Food Lust People Love
- Cheesy Asparagus Bake by The Fresh Cooky
- Couscous with Cumin and Pine Nuts by Shockingly Delicious
- Cranberry Pecan Cornbread Mini Bites by The Freshman Cook
- Creamed Corn by Savory Experiments
- Creamy Cheesy Brussel Sprouts with Bacon by Blogghetti
- Farro Salad with Apples, Arugula & Feta by Sweet Beginnings
- Lemon and Garlic Roasted Brussels Sprouts by Palatable Pastime
- Loaded Cauliflower Casserole by Cheese Curd in Paradise
- Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes by Family Around the Table
- Persimmon Salad With Balsamic Vinaigrette by The Foodie Affair
- Rice Pilaf with Dried Cranberries and Almonds by An Affair from the Heart
- Roasted Beet & Goat Cheese Salad by Kate’s Recipe Box
- Roasted Carrots with Goat Cheese and Pecans by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Apples by Devour Dinner
- Sausage Stuffing by House of Nash Eats
- Wild Rice and Broccoli Casserole by Karen’s Kitchen Stories
- Wild Rice and Sprouts Pilaf by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures