Black and Brown Rice Stuffing With Walnuts and Pears
Pears and walnuts complement dark black and pale brown rice in this sweet and savory mixture. Make sure you don’t overcook the pears; they need only a quick sear in the pan. The cooked grains will keep for 3 days in the refrigerator and can be frozen. The stuffing benefits from being made a day ahead. The optional red lentils or cranberries add some color to the mix.
- Serves: 12 persons
- 1 ½cups black rice, like Forbidden Rice or Lundberg Black Japonica
- ½cup brown rice
- 1quart water, chicken stock or vegetable stock
- Salt to taste
- 1tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1small or medium onion, finely chopped
- 1cup diced celery
- 2garlic cloves, minced (optional)
- 1tablespoon butter
- 3ripe but firm pears, peeled, cored and cut in 1/2-inch dice
- ½cup lightly toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped
- ¼cup red lentils, soaked in cold water to cover for 2 or 3 hours and drained, or 1/4 cup dried cranberries (optional)
- 2tablespoons finely chopped sage
- 2teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, roughly chopped
- Freshly ground pepper
Step 1Cook the black and brown rices separately in 2 parts water or stock with salt to taste, following the directions on the package for timing (brown rice should take 35 to 40 minutes). When the rice is tender, turn off the heat, place clean kitchen towels between the saucepans and their lids, and let sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.
Step 2While the rice is cooking, prepare the remaining ingredients. Heat the oil over medium heat in a large, heavy skillet and add the onion. Cook, stirring often, until the onion begins to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the celery and a generous pinch of salt, and continue to cook until the onion is completely tender, another 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 to 60 seconds. Remove from the heat and add to the bowl with the rice.
Step 3Return the skillet to medium-high heat and add the butter. When the foam subsides, add the pears and cook, tossing in the pan or stirring, until lightly seared and translucent, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and add to the rice. Add the remaining ingredients, including the soaked red lentils or dried cranberries if desired, and gently toss together. Taste and adjust seasonings. Transfer to a lightly oiled or buttered baking dish and cover with foil.
Step 4Warm the stuffing in a 325-degree oven for 20 to 30 minutes before serving.