Jeweled rice is a Middle Eastern rice recipe that often contains fresh herbs, nuts, and fruits and is made for special occasions (I usually make it during Rosh Hashanah), and this stuffing takes that concept and adapts it both for Thanksgiving and grains native to the Americas: wild rice, and quinoa. It is a healthy-ish, gluten-free alternative to bread-based stuffings and is a colourful addition to your Thanksgiving table.
I used red quinoa in this dish as it’s what I happened to have on hand, but regular quinoa is perfectly fine. I used short grain brown rice, but brown basmati also works great, and wild rice – an aquatic grass seed (not a true rice) native to North America and known as manoomin in the Ojibwe language. Along with the rice are American stuffing staples like onion, celery, and apples, plus we’ve added fresh parsley, a little fresh sage (dried is fine, too), dried apricots, and pomegranate arils to finish.
Brown rice can take a while to cook, and so I typically cook mine (along with the wild rice) in a rice cooker before adding to the other ingredients, this ensures that you get good texture and don’t have any crunchy rice!
Jeweled Wild Rice and Quinoa Stuffing
- Rice Cooker or a Medium Saucepan
- Large Saucepan / Skillet
For the Rice:
- ½ cup brown rice (short or long grain is fine)
- ½ cup wild rice
- 2 cups vegetable broth
Other Stuffing Ingredients:
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 stalks celery, diced small
- ½ medium sweet onion, diced small
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 medium honeycrisp or gala apple, diced small
- 1.75 ounces dried apricots, diced small (50g)
- ¼ cup fresh parsley, coarsely chopped (plus extra, for garnish)
- 1 medium sprig of fresh sage, finely chopped
- 1 tsp fines herbes or herbes de Provence (optional)
- ½ tsp fine sea salt
- ¼ tsp ground black pepper
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- ½ cup quinoa (I used red, but regular quinoa is fine)
- ½ cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
- ¼ cup fresh pomegranate arils (can substitute dried cranberries if desired, add when you add the apricots)
For the Rice:
- In your rice cooker combine the wild and brown rice with the broth and cook on the brown rice setting, or cook on the stovetop with the broth – bringing to a boil and then reducing the heat to medium, covering, and cooking for 45-65 minutes.
For the Rest of the Stuffing:
- While the rice is cooking; in a large skillet or saucepan over medium heat, add your olive oil, the chopped onion and celery, sauteing for 5-8 minutes, until well-cooked. Next, add your garlic and saute for another 2 minutes. Add your apple, apricots, parsley, sage, fines herbes, sea salt and pepper, and mix well.
- Now add your other cup of vegetable broth and the quinoa. Allow the quinoa to simmer in the broth until fully cooked, about 15-20 minutes. Add the cooked rice and wild rice to the pot, stir in your walnuts and pomegranate arils, and serve garnished with more parsley and pomegranate arils.
- If you want to bake it befoe serving, you can do so for 15-20 minutes in a 350°F (175°C) oven. Don't overbake as the rice on top may become hard and unpleasant.