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This vegan and gluten-free Wild Rice Pilaf with Pistachios and Pomegranates is a special occasion side-dish for your holiday feast.

Wild Rice Pilaf with pistachios and pomegranates #christmasrecipe #vegan #glutenfree #sidedish #wildrice

DISCLOSURE: This post is sponsored by the Wonderful Company. I was compensated for my time. All opinions expressed here are my own.

 

I am like a Pavlov’s dogs when it comes to someone saying the words Christmas dinner. I immediately get a huge craving for wild rice. It is a tradition in our family to have it most years, and I just love the texture of it- a little chewy. My mom is usually the one to suggest that we have it, but believe me, if she didn’t I surely would, because it is so good!

Wild Rice Pilaf with pistachios and pomegranates #christmasrecipe #vegan #glutenfree #sidedish #wildrice

Did you know that wild rice is native to North America, and only a distant cousin of the starchier white and brown rice we commonly eat?

How to Make Wild Rice Pilaf with Pistachios and Pomegranate

First I have a culinary note. Though I am calling this a “pilaf”, I understand that the method here is not completely traditional. Here’s why: traditional rice pilaf is made by sautéing the vegetables and the rice in fat or oil then adding the liquid and cooking together. This step ensures that the rice will not stick together as much because each grain is coated in oil. This step is unnecessary for wild rice because it doesn’t have enough starch to clump. I also wanted to control how tender the rice became; so cooking it in a pot with plenty of boiling water (almost the way you would for pasta) ensures that it becomes tender, but not mushy. Once that liquid is completely drained away it’s added to the sautéed vegetables.

 

When cooking the wild rice, look for the grains to split, and taste often. Don’t wait for the grains to curl, because the rice will be overcooked and watery.

Wild Rice Pilaf with pistachios and pomegranates #christmasrecipe #vegan #glutenfree #sidedish #wildrice

Next I used POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice to moisten the mixture. Not only does it moisten the pilaf, but the POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice has been found to have, on average, more antioxidant capacity than red wine, grape juice and green tea!

 

I also amped up the holiday vibe (and nutrition) to the Wild Rice Pilaf by adding in some more superstar ingredients from POM Wonderful®. I used POM POMS Fresh Pomegranate Arils, which are ready to eat. They are already removed from the pith of the fruit and come in cute little 4.3 ounce containers. Find them, refrigerated, in the produce section. I love these POM POMS because they save time; just open the container and boom! Done. Plus they add in more fiber and Vitamin C for a nutritional boost.

Wild Rice Pilaf with pistachios and pomegranates #christmasrecipe #vegan #glutenfree #sidedish #wildrice

Then to add crunch and a festive green element I added in chopped pistachios. I used the Wonderful No Shells Pistachios, because again… so easy! Just chop and add them in. Not to sound like a broken record here folks, but the pistachios are also a nutritional powerhouse! Pistachios offer a trio of plant-protein, fiber and better-for-you unsaturated fats which may keep you feeling full.

 

I finished off the pilaf with a final drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil. The fruitiness of the oil, the orange zest really set off the sweet tartness of the pomegranate and the nutty wild rice. I can’t wait for you to try it!

Wild Rice Pilaf with pistachios and pomegranates #christmasrecipe #vegan #glutenfree #sidedish #wildrice

If you do try it, please come back and let me know by leaving a RATING or COMMENT below. I would so appreciate it!

 

QUESTIONS:

What are the traditions on your holiday table?

Did you know Wild Rice is not a direct relative of white rice?

Have you used POM POMS Fresh Pomegranate Arils before?

 

Wild Rice Pilaf with pistachios and pomegranates #christmasrecipe #vegan #glutenfree #sidedish #wildrice

wild rice pilaf with pistachios and pomegranates
Rate this recipe

Prep Time: 25 minutes

30 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Category: side dish

Cuisine: American

Yield: 8

Serving Size: 3/4 cup

Calories per serving: 277

Fat per serving: 13 g

Carbs per serving: 36

Fiber per serving: 4 g

wild rice pilaf with pistachios and pomegranates

This vegan and gluten-free Wild Rice Pilaf with Pistachios and Pomegranates is a special occasion side-dish for your holiday feast.

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cup wild rice
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 small sweet onion, finely diced
  • 1 cup finely diced celery hearts
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest
  • 1 cup POM Wonderful POM POMS Fresh Pomegranate Arils
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley
  • ¼ cup Wonderful No Shells Pistachios, chopped

Instructions

  1. Place rice in a small saucepan. Cover generously with water. Bring to a simmer over high heat. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook until the rice is tender and just starts to burst open, 27 to 35 minutes. Drain well.
  2. When rice has about 15 minutes left, heat 3 tablespoons oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, celery, garlic and salt and cook, stirring often until the onion is softened, and starting to brown, 6 to 8 minutes.
  3. Add hot rice, pomegranate juice and orange zest and stir until the rice and vegetables are mixed and the juice is simmering. Remove from the heat and stir in pomegranate arils, parsley, pistachios and the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil. Serve warm.
https://www.healthyseasonalrecipes.com/wild-rice-pilaf-with-pistachios-and-pomegranates/

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