Mediterranean Wild Rice
A fresh take on a wild rice recipe with chickpeas, pomegranate arils, and Mediterranean spice. Mediterranean wild rice makes a fragrant side dish or vegetarian main course.
This morning I was reminded of a funny situation that happened a few months back…
A couple of my close friends and I took our daughters out for a girls night. We all dressed up and headed to what the girls considered a very fancy dinner. Then we headed to the theater to watch a ballet.
The girls, ranging in age from 9 to 11, were primly settled in their seats ready to take in the glory of the ballet. They silently watched with wide-eyes through the first few dances as the prima ballerina glided across the floor.
Then out came a male dancer, lifting the ballerina high into the air. The youngest of the three started giggling, followed by multiple chuckles, then uncontrollable laughter.
We (moms) glared down the aisle, shushing and whispering, “What’s the matter?!?”
The littlest daughter piped up and whispered loud enough to rock the balcony, “His pants!” We finally got the girls settled and watched the rest of the ballet in a civilized fashion.
Afterward we piled back into the car to drop off our friends. Because I’m curious, and a glutton for punishment, I had to know. Hesitantly I asked, “So……. what exactly was so funny about the dancer’s pants?”
Sweating a little while I waited for an answer, the girls looked at each other and in unison stated, “You could see his butt crack.”
Roaring laughter ensued in the back seat.
I looked over at my friend in the front and said, “Whew!”
Then of course roaring laughter broke out in the front seat.
So what does this have to do with my Mediterranean Wild Rice Recipe?
Nothing. Nothing at all.
Only, I was thinking this wild rice recipe possesses a complex flavor profile that would appeal to a mature palate, then the butt crack story immediately came to mind.
Sorry about that.
This blend of firm wild rice and aromatic basmati rice is loaded with mediterranean flavors. Sweet pomegranate arils, toasty spiced chickpeas, fresh herbs, and crispy shallots make this a vibrant side dish or vegetarian main course.
Although my daughter is still fairly immature in many ways, she too loved this mature wild rice recipe, with all its intricacies.
So it’s a stretch of a connection…
But I thought you’d still appreciate the relief of a mother whose daughter is too innocent to notice the front of a man’s tight pants, but can pick out the scandalous blend of spices in a wild rice recipe!
Wild Rice Recipe
- Pour the wild rice in a small pot and cover with 2 cups water. Bring to a boil then stir, cover and reduce the heat. Cook the rice on low for 30-40 minutes, until firm, but tender. Remove from heat and keep covered until ready to use.
- In a second sauce pot, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil followed by the drained chickpeas, curry and garam masala. Place over medium-high heat and sprinkle with salt. Stir to coat the chickpeas in spice. Stir and saute for 4-5 minutes until the spices smell toasty. Then scrape the chickpeas and spices out of the the pot into a large bowl and add the basmati rice, 1 teaspoon salt, and 2 1/2 cups of water to the empty pot. Bring to a boil, then stir, reduce the heat, and cover. Cook for approximately 15 minutes.
- Once the rice is cooked, fluff it with a fork and scoop it into the large bowl with the chickpeas. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to the sauce pot and toss the thinly sliced onion with flour. Place the pot over medium heat. Once the oil is smoking hot, add the onions and quickly stir them to coat and fry. When they are golden, scoop them out onto a paper towel lined plate and sprinkle them with salt and pepper.
- Drain any remaining water out of the wild rice and add the rice to the bowl. Top with the lime zest and juice, cilantro, and pomegranate arils. Toss, taste, and salt and pepper as needed. Serve with the crispy onions on top.