The seed of a marsh grass, known for its luxurious nutty flavor and chewy texture. Long black or dark brown grains. Wild rice is native to the Great Lakes region of North America. Wild rice is generally more expensive than other rices and takes longer to cook. Cultivated wild rice isn't as expensive (nor as flavorful) as "wild" wild rice. Wild rice is harvested green, and placed in long narrow rows in a curing yard. While the wild rice is in the curing rows, the chlorophyll dissipates from the plant. To prevent damage to the seed, the process involves turning constantly and adding water. From the curing yard, the browned rice kernal with its seed hull intact goes to the parchers where the moisture is dried out. During this process, the starches gelatinize and the characteristic roasted nutty flavor is developed. From the parchers, the rice is hulled, removing the fibrous hull, exposing only the shiny black wild rice seed.
Season: available year-round
How to prepare: It is important to clean wild rice before cooking. Place the rice in a bowl and fill with cold water. Stir then set aside for a few minutes. Any debris will float to the surface and the water can then be poured off. Depending on the method used, wild rice can take up to an hour to cook; overcooking will produce starch results.
Matches well with: almonds, butter, hazelnuts, mushrooms, oranges, pepper, pine nuts, game, poultry
Substitutions: 1 cup uncooked = 3 - 3 1/3 cups cooked