Friday, November 18, 2005

Thanksgiving Asparagus and Wild Rice Pilaf Recipe

Here is an easily doubled asparagus and wild rice side dish that would add wonderful variety to any Thanksgiving spread:

Asparagus Spears and Wild Rice Pilaf

4-5 bunches fresh Asparagus spears
2 C wild rice
2 fresh carrots
2 large french shalots
4 medium garlic cloves
3T lightly-toasted sesame seeds
salt/pepper to taste

Steam rice (covered) on low heat until well-cooked (firm and chewy, but
not mushy). Wild rice requires a longer cooking time than white or brown rice varieties, so exercise patience.

Julienne carrots into 1-inch (~2cm) lengths.
Finely chop shalots and cloves of garlic.
Soften all gently in an oiled skillet until just tender.

Sesame Seeds
Toast raw sesame seeds in a skillet over low-medium heat until golden-brown. Sample frequently to make sure flavor is not too dark or burnt-tasting. When desired flavor is achieved, remove seeds immediately from the skillet and spread on a cool plate. (Hint - you may elect to intensify the flavor of the seeds with a few drops of dark sesame oil dripped into the hot pan)

Drain steamed rice and fold in carrots, garlic and most of the toasted sesame seeds, reserving about 1 tsp of the seeds to sprinkle over finished dish.

Asparagus- trim spears and remove scales; steam entire bunch upright in a large covered pot until bright green in color and just becoming tender (2-3 minutes). Drain spears, place in a covered chafing dish with 2-3 pats of butter. Toss lightly when butter is melted.

Arrange buttered asparagus spears on a bed of the wild rice pilaf. Sprinkle sesame seeds over the assembled dish. Serves 8 as a side dish and will leave guests asking for more. This recipe is easily doubled. You may need to reheat the assembled dish slightly to bring it up to serving temperature.

tags: , , , ,

1 comment:

Norma said...

I often serve a bowl of tender crisp asparagus and another of sliced carrots for holidays. Then one can pile on the rich stuff and not feel so guilty.