Rustic Rice

I found this recipe in a magazine about 15 years ago. I think it was in Gourmet but I’m not 100 percent certain. I adapted the original recipe a bit and have been making it ever since. It compliments almost any kind of main meat dish and is always very popular.

The nice thing about this rice is that it travels very well so it’s the perfect dish to take if you are driving some place for Thanksgiving and need to bring a side dish. You can make it up to 1 day ahead, leaving out the nuts and cranberries. Then just reheat the rice with a little water when almost ready to serve and mix in the cranberries and hazelnuts about 5 minutes before serving.

Rustic Rice


(Serves 4)

  • 1 1/2 Cups Chicken Broth (Or use Veggie Broth if you want to make it Vegetarian)
  • 3/4 Cup Wild Rice (you really need wild rice, white or plain brown rice just won’t do! You can also use black & brown rice, but make sure it’s hearty!)
  • 2 tblspn Butter
  • 2 Leeks, rinsed well and sliced thin (use only the white and pale green parts)
  • 1/4 Pound Fresh Shiitake Mushroom, sliced thin (You can also use dried shiitake, just hydrate them first)
  • 1/4 Cup Chopped Hazelnuts, slightly toasted in a frying pan (you can buy them pre-chopped)
  • 1/4 Cup Dried Cranberries


  1. Cook the rice in the chicken broth until done (you want it slightly al dente). When the rice is done, set it aside in a large enough mixing bowl or serving bowl and then:
  2. While the rice is cooking:
    2a. Take your chopped hazelnuts and toast them lightly in a frying pan. You want them golden, but not over done. Set aside.
    2b. Rinse clean and slice the leek into small pieces, using only the pale green parts. I usually cut them 4 times cross wise (long way) then let them soak in a bowl of water for about 5 minutes or so first, swishing them around a bit to get rid of any dirt. Then they clean and easy to cut.
  3. When the rice has finished cooking: using a non-stick pan, cook the leek in the butter over med-high heat, about 3-5 minutes until tender.
  4. Add the sliced Shiitake and a touch of salt to taste and cook for another 2-3 minutes until everything is tender.
  5. Add the leek+mushrooms, cranberries and nuts to the rice.
  6. Mix well and serve warm.

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