A wild side – Wild rice "à la forestière" with mushrooms, carrots and walnuts
Un côté sauvage – Riz sauvage à la forestière aux champignons, carottes et noix
I haven’t realized Thanksgiving is coming soon, then I am leaving to visit my family in France shortly after, not sure I will have time to make it to Italy but we’ll see. It’s been one year I did not go home, and I am starting to have the one year “itch”. I remember I made this rice for Christmas for my parents guests, many years ago as a side dish to stuffed quails with ris de veau (sweatbreads) and everyone loved the whole thing. It was the time I still could eat a bird.
My mom would always invite this longtime Italian girlfriend (from the same town in Italy) with her French husband and son for Christmas and I was not looking forward to it. Those guys were the snobbiest, uptight and annoying people I have ever seen, always criticizing and making fun of others. But every year, my mom would feel so guilty to let them spend Christmas by themselves, so she invited them at home, and we would spend January 1st in their home. That was like a punishment to me! So the first time I made this rice was for them as a side dish. At least something came out of those Christmases. My mom always had this sense of “duty” or “obligation” to take care of people and sometimes it can be overwhelming. I bet everyone has those memories of some family dinners and having to deal with some unpleasant parents’ friends.
It’s a very simple dish but quite tasty and always a beautiful and refined accompaniment to a fish or meat. What is called “à la forestière” in French is mainly a dish that has mushrooms, “forestière” meaning from the forrest (forêt = forrest). Rice à la forestière is a French classic, so this one has been modified and made it into a more modern and light version with a twist. The nutty flavor of wild rice enhanced by walnuts is delightful.
Ingredients for 4
- 300 g wild rice
- 2 carrots
- 2 shallots
- 1.5 cups cremini or wild mushrooms
- 1.5 tbs walnut, chopped
- 1/5 tbs parsley, finely chopped
- 1 tbs olive oil
Cook rice for about 40 minutes until cooked. You can either use a rice cooker or cook it in a pot the traditional way.
In a pan, heat olive oil, add shallot and carrots. Cover with a lid and let the mixture cook, then after 10 min add mushrooms, cool for an additional 10 min or until the water has evaporated. Add cooked rice, stir and adjust with salt and pepper. Add walnuts and parsley. Mix well and serve.
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