Monday, December 13, 2010

Meatless Monday: Domestic Divas Wild Rice Risotto with Cranberries and Walnuts

I feel so lucky to have the Domestic Diva herself back with a very special Meatless Monday holiday recipe.  It was the Diva who inspired me to take part in Meatless Mondays, and I can't think of a better guest post that this delicious sounding risotto.  What could be better on your holiday table?

From the Diva
I'm thrilled to be back for another guest post on Piccante Dolce! Even better, this special guest post is also a Meatless Monday recipe. How's that for service?

I created this recipe for Wild Rice Risotto with Cranberries and Walnuts especially for the holidays. The wild rice, sauteed with ginger and shallots, doused with white wine, and then slowly cooked in vegetable stock captures that rich, spicy, comforting vibe of this special time. The dish is finished with chopped parsley, toasted walnuts, and dried cranberries.

While this rice makes a great stuffing (try using it instead of traditional bread stuffing -- it's a gluten-free alternative) or a perfect side dish, it's also wonderful as a stand alone Meatless Monday main course. The whole grains and walnuts give it both fiber and protein. Oh, and did I mention that it's healthy, too? That's right! It's a winning recipe all around.

Domestic Divas Wild Rice Risotto with Cranberries and Walnuts
Serves: 4 people
Cooking time: one hour

1 cup wild rice blend (I love Lundberg's Wild Rice Blend)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (for extra holiday decadence, sub 1 tbsp butter and 1 tbsp olive oil)
1 shallot, peeled and chopped
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 cups low sodium vegetable stock
1/4 cup Italian parsley, chopped
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
salt and pepper

Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a pot with a tight-fitting lid. Add the shallots and ginger, and saute until softened (about 4 minutes). Add the rice and stir to combine. Cook for 1 minute. Add the white wine, stirring to combine. Cook until all the liquid has been absorbed (a few minutes).

Add the vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Cover with lid. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for about 45 minutes, or until rice is tender. Remove from heat, and let stand in covered pot for 10 minutes.

Scoop out rice with a slotted spoon and place into a serving or mixing bowl, discarding any excess liquid. Add the walnuts, cranberries, and parsley. Toss to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Enjoy!

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