This Wild Rice Pilaf with Apricots and Almonds dish will fill your home with the warm scent of cinnamon. It can be vegan if you use olive oil and vegetable broth. Or, you can use butter and chicken stock for a flavour profile that complements poultry, lamb and ham very well. I’ve also used it as a stuffing for a Crown Rib Roast of Pork.
It’s nice to use wild rice. When I wrote Food Artisans of Alberta with my friend Tilly Sanchez a few years ago, we discovered there’s only one wild rice grower left in Alberta. Lakeland Wild rice is run by the Ptolemy family. They live in Athabasca, Alberta and are licensed to seed four (back in the bush) lakes near there. At harvest, they use a specially adapted airboat to collect the rice. Then, they send it to Manitoba to have the kernels rubbed off and then dried and packaged.
I used the last of my Lakeland Wild Rice to make this dish. Now, I’m going to order more! If you want some of this true Canadian delicacy like me, you can email Alice Ptolemy at firstname.lastname@example.org and she’ll tell you how much it will be to ship it. It comes in one pound bags with a little recipe booklet insert. Maybe if we all support this hard-working family, their twin daughters will carry on and Alberta will be able to keep a wild ricer grower.
Note: I am grateful the Ptolemy family exists and have taken no remuneration for endorsing their wild rice.Print
Wild Rice Pilaf with Apricots and Almonds
The nutty taste of Canadian wild rice and the warmth of apricots, cinnamon and cloves are brightened with the zest of orange and the crunch of almonds in this great vegan main or side dish for meat lovers.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 45 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour
- Yield: 6 to 8 servings
- Category: Side Dishes
- Method: Boiling
- Cuisine: Canadian
3 cups vegetable or chicken stock (divided)
1 cup orange juice (divided)
½ cup wild rice
2 Tablespoons olive oil or butter
1 small finely chopped onion
1 stalk finely chopped celery
1½ cups basmati rice
¾ cup dried apricots, sliced in strips
1½ teaspoons cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup chopped curly leaf parsley
¾ cup slivered almonds (set aside a few for garnish)
Zest of one orange
- Bring 1 cup of the stock and ½ cup of the orange juice to boil in a small saucepan, add the wild rice, cover with a lid, reduce heat and simmer until the rice cracks and is tender – about 45 minutes. Meanwhile prepare the basmati rice.
- Heat another saucepan or the bowl of an Instapot or rice cooker and add the chopped onion and celery and cook until softened but not brown.
- Add the remaining stock and orange juice, bring to a boil and add the basmati rice. Close the lid, reduce the heat and cook 15 minutes then open the lid and add the apricots, cinnamon, cloves and salt. Continue cooking until the rice is done. Meanwhile prepare the almonds.
- Dry toast the almonds in a fry pan on medium heat, rotating the pan and watching continuously until they are golden. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Stir the wild rice into the basmati rice mixture, once both kinds of rice are cooked, and add the parsley followed by the almonds.
- Garnish with remaining almonds and orange zest.
- Enjoy with a side of green vegetables for a vegan or vegetarian dish or use it as a side dish with poultry, lamb or ham.
Keywords: wild rice pilaf