This is the perfect side dish for your holiday meal. Wild rice is transformed into a pilaf loaded with cranberries, toasted pecans and fresh herbs. The balance of sweet and savory is a fantastic way to spruce up a basic rice dish.
This recipe is not only delicious, it’s super easy to make. The tart and slightly sweet cranberries help balance out the savory ingredients in this pilaf while the toasted pecans add depth and crunch. While you can substitute dried herbs in this recipe, I really love that greenness you get from using fresh herbs as it adds a special flavor in this dish.
Rustic winter rice pilaf recipe
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup diced roasted sweet potatoes or butternut squash
- 1 medium sweet onion, diced
- 1 small red onion, diced
- 3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
- 2 cups wild rice
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup toasted pecans, chopped (you can also substitute pine nuts, walnuts or slivered almonds)
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- In a large pot over medium heat add the butter and the extra-virgin olive oil and heat until the butter has melted. Add in the onions and cook until they have softened, about 5 minutes. Add in the garlic and cook an additional minute or until fragrant.
- Add the rice and slowly add in the vegetable broth. Bring the mixture to a boil and cover. Lower the heat to medium-low and allow the rice to simmer for about 45 minutes or as directed on the package of rice.
- Once rice is cooked, add in the roasted sweet potatoes or butternut squash, cranberries, toasted pecans, parsley, thyme and season with salt and pepper. Serve warm.