What's sold as wild rice is, more usually, a mixture of long-grain rice and dark-skinned rarer rice-alike special grass seeds. It makes a dish more visually appealing, I think, although it does take much longer to cook than straight rice - about 45 minutes on the hob or an hour or so in a pre-heated slow cooker. It needs still to have a bit of bite when it's served.
This recipe would serve around 2-3 as a main course, or a good 4 as a side. Nothing complicated about it, and quantities could of course be reduced although cooking time would be about the same. Time to prepare is 15-20 minutes. Any leftovers are good at room temperature.
Wild Rice with Apricots and Coconut
1 tbsp oil
1 medium onion, peeled and fairly finely chopped
180g wild rice
8 dried soft ready-to-eat apricots, snipped to hazelnut size
20g desiccated coconut
400ml (approx) vegetarian stock
1 heaped tbsp cumin seeds (optional)
1 Heat the oil in a medium to large pan.
2 Add the onion and fry gently for 5 mins, stirring occasionally.
3 Add the rice and fry gently for 2 mins, stirring to coat with the oil.
4 Add the apricots, coconut, stock and cumin seeds and mix well.
5 Leave to simmer gently on the hob for about 45 mins (or according to packet
instructions), stirring fairly often and adding a little more stock or water if it's
absorbed before the rice is ready.
(If using a slow cooker, tip the mixture in at stage 5 and leave for an hour or so until the rice has a chewable texture but still with bite. Stir from time to time.)
A handful of roasted peanuts or cashews could be added at stage 5, or coarsely chopped hazel nuts, perhaps instead of the cumin seeds. Herbs such as thyme or coriander could be added towards the end of cooking.
If the rice is served to the side of the plate, vegetarian sausages or burgers would go well, as would, say, a fried chick pea patty or two or some falafel. A roasted half butternut squash would be good, filled with a little seasoned goat cheese and breadcrumbs - or indeed filled with the wild rice itself. Perhaps a glass of rich red, maybe Hungarian, too.