This Pomegranate Wild Rice Pilaf is an easy way to make your meal a little more exciting. Plus, it’s loaded with healthy ingredients, easy to prepare and completely delicious. Can’t beat that!
Actually this pilaf is loaded with nutritional goodness. Pomegranates are full of Vitamin C and antioxidants. Wild rice is rich in Thiamin, Lysine, Riboflavin, Vitamin B, and Iron. With the apple (fiber!), olive oil (healthy fats!) and almonds (Vitamin E, protein!) we should probably all eat it once a week.
Did you know wild rice is grain-free, as wild rice is not technically a rice, but a semi-aquatic grass native to North America? It’s true. Did you also know that California is the top wild rice producer in the world? Also true. California grows the entire U.S. commercial pomegranate crop too. Some of it on my family’s Home Ranch. Which explains why I write so many pomegranate recipes.
A note about pomegranates:
The ruby-red kernels found inside pomegranates are called correctly arils, even though they are often marketed as “pomegranate seeds”. The aril contains the pomegranate seed and the juice of the fruit, wrapped in a thin membrane. Arils are actually even healthier than plain juice, because the seed itself contains punicic acid, in addition to all the superpowered-superfruit-goodness in pomegranate juice. You can find them in stores frozen, freeze dried, or fresh – or you can remove them from the whole pomegranate yourself. The seed inside gives arils a slight crunch, so I usually pair them with nuts or something crispy in recipes.
If you love savory pomegranate recipes, try these Endive Cups with Pancetta & Pomegranate and this Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf with Pomegranate BBQ Sauce. If you’re a cocktail fan, check out my Spiced Pomegranate Sangria, Pomegranate Mojito and this Pomegranate Pineapple Margarita.
Pomegranate Wild Rice Pilaf
- 1/2 cup pomegranate juice
- 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds (arils) fresh or thawed
- 1 6 oz. package long grain and wild rice mix
- 1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
- 1 medium apple cored and chopped
- 1 cup celery chopped
- 1/2 cup red onion diced
- 1/2 cup raisins or chopped dates optional
- 1/2 cup sliced or slivered almonds optional
- Prepare wild rice mix according to package directions. Place oil in a medium skillet and heat until hot. Sauté apples, celery and onions for 3 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Stir in raisins and almonds; cook 1 minute more. Remove from heat.
- When rice is done, stir in sautéed mixture and the pomegranate juice over low heat for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and add pomegranate seeds.
- Serve immediately as a rice pilaf, or use mixture to stuff a 5 to 7 pound roasting hen, two 3 1/2-pound roasting chickens, or an 8-pound turkey.
Photos by James Collier
Give your pilaf a superfood update.