Today I'm partnering with Think Rice to make a delicious baked jeweled wild rice!
Someone once asked me if I had to give up rice or noodles, what would it be. As much as I love all carbs, I immediately knew that I would never be able to give up rice. I enjoy it with so many meals that it would be difficult to replace. Especially when the rice itself is the star of a meal like this baked jeweled wild rice, it's hard to resist. This dish has it all. The rice is baked with warm spices, finished with almonds and orange zest, and topped with a bright sun-dried tomato olive tapenade. It's so flavorful, it might just be the star of your meal too!
Baked Jeweled Wild Rice
Baked jeweled wild rice
- 1 cup U.S.-grown wild rice blend
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon ground fennel
- 2 cups boiling water
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- ½ cup toasted sliced almonds
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
Olive sun-dried tomato tapenade
- ⅓ cup chopped kalamata olives
- ⅓ cup chopped castelvetrano olives
- ⅓ cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
- ⅓ cup chopped parsley
- 1 garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon capers
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Combine wild rice blend with minced garlic, cumin, coriander, salt, pepper, fennel in baking dish or Dutch oven. Pour boiling water and melted butter and stir to combine. Cover and bake for 1 hour or until tender, stirring rice halfway through. If rice appears dry, add more water as needed.
- Meanwhile, make the tapenade. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl including olives, sun-dried tomatoes, parsley, garlic, capers, lemon juice, and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Let sit for at least 30 minutes.
- Remove rice from oven and let sit for 10 minutes. Remove lid and fluff rice with fork. Add almonds, mint, and orange zest, stirring to combine. Drizzle tapenade on top and serve.
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
Did you know that wild rice is not technically rice? I was mind blown when I first discovered this fact. It's in fact a type of semi-aquatic grass native to North America! In fact, 80% of all rice consumed in the U.S. is grown here, including in my home state, California. The whole grain has a nutty flavor and chewy texture, which I found perfect for this dish. It's also great for stuffing, salads, soups, bread, and even desserts. I personally enjoy adding California-grown wild rice to salads because of the wonderful earthy flavor and firm, hearty texture.
To make the baked jeweled wild rice, first combine the wild rice blend with the aromatics including garlic, cumin, coriander, and fennel. Season the rice with salt and pepper and lay it in a baking dish or Dutch oven.
Pour boiling water and melted butter into the Dutch oven and cover the pot. If you're using a baking dish, make sure to tightly cover the dish. I like to double wrap the top with aluminum foil just in case.
If you never baked rice before, you're in for a real treat. It's great for when you need to make a large batch ahead of time and personally, I find it easier than cooking it on the stovetop.
Pop the rice in the oven and cook for about one hour or until the grains are tender. Halfway through the cooking time, take the rice out and give it a stir. If all of the liquid has evaporated add a little bit more water, about ¼ cup or so.
While the rice is cooking make the olive sun-dried tomato tapenade. The baked jeweled wild rice will still taste great on its own, but the tapenade does add another layer of flavor.
Chop the sun-dried tomatoes, both types of olives, garlic, and fresh parsley by hand or with a food processor. Then, combine them with capers, lemon juice, and olive oil. Season the tapenade with salt and pepper and let it sit for at least 30 minutes to let the flavors marry. You can also prepare the tapenade the day before.
Once the rice is tender, remove it from the oven and let it sit for 10 minutes. Remove the lid and fluff the rice with a fork. Stir in the toasted almonds, fresh chopped mint, and orange zest, and transfer the rice to a serving bowl.
Top the wild rice with the sun-dried tomato olive tapenade or serve it on the side.
This baked jeweled wild rice checks off all the boxes. The grains have a beautiful nutty flavor that perfectly compliments the toasted almonds. The tapenade adds even more texture to the dish while adding a bit of tang. I wouldn't mind this baked rice as a side several times a week!
For more rice inspiration check out this spicy chicken pilaf!