Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Fall Grain Pilaf with Sweet Potatoes

It's not November yet, but I've got Thanksgiving on my mind already. Perhaps it's because I've been testing dishes to write about next month. I promise not to start deluging you with Thanksgiving-themed content this month. Yes, this pilaf, with its basis in stuffing tip-toes up to the line. But it doesn't cross it! I wouldn't serve this at Thanksgiving. All the more reason to enjoy it ahead of time.

The idea behind this pilaf is the flavors of a good stuffing but with grains instead of bread. Any mix of quicker-cooking grains (i.e. not wheat berries) could be good. I used a mix of brown rice, wild rice and quinoa.

The sweet potatoes could be pre-cooked either in the microwave or roasted in the oven.

Fall Grain Pilaf with Sweet Potatoes

1 3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup rice or a blend of grains, such as brown and wild rices and quinoa
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 sweet onion, diced
2 celery ribs, diced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tbsp. chopped fresh sage
1/3 cup chopped pecans
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1 cup cooked sweet potato, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1. Bring chicken broth to boil in a medium saucepan with a tight-fitting lid. Add grains, cover, reduce heat to low and cook for 25 minutes (cooking time may need adjustment, depending on the grain used). Remove from heat, place a clean kitchen cloth over the mouth of the pan and cover again. Let sit for 10 minutes, then remove the lid and towel and fluff grains with a fork.

2. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add onion and celery, season with salt and pepper, and saute until softened, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add sage, stir to combine and cook another minute until fragrant. Reduce heat to low. Add pecans, cranberries and cooked sweet potato, cooking over low heat until heated through. Combine with cooked grains and serve immediately.

1 comment:

  1. I loved this. As you suggest, it evokes the spirit of Thanksgiving but isn't a Thanksgiving dish, although I'd happily eat it on the holiday.