Wild rice and roasted cranberries


Excerpted from “PNW Veg” by Kim O’Donnel.

Makes about 4 servings.

Although it eats like a grain, wild rice is actually the seed of an ancient aquatic grass that is native to the Great Lakes region and Ontario. It is considered a sacred food among the Chippewa Indian tribe. Both aromatic and nutty, these shiny black seeds make a wonderful gluten-free alternative to bread stuffing. For this recipe, I like to season the wild rice with a chile oil that comes together in about 20 minutes. It’s OK if you opt out of the chile oil, but in its place I recommend an olive oil infused with citrus fruit.

Featured in: Why foccacia makes great stuffing.


  • 1 cup cultivated wild rice, rinsed
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup neutral oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 3/4 cup Roasted Cranberries (see recipe below)


1. Combine the rice and water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover, reduce the heat to medium low, and gently simmer until tender to the bite, about 45 minutes.

2. While the rice is cooking, make the chile oil: Warm the oil in a small skillet over medium-low heat just until you see little bubbles. Add the red pepper flakes, remove the skillet from the heat and let cool, about 20 minutes.

3. Strain the oil over a glass jar. (Store any remaining oil away from sunlight for up to two weeks.)

4. While covered, remove the rice from the heat and let sit for 5 minutes. Drain any residual water. Add the salt and mix with a fork to fluff.

5. Place the sunflower seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat. Once they are slightly golden, remove from the heat and transfer to a small bowl

6. Uncover the rice and stir in 1 tablespoon of the chile oil and the roasted cranberries, followed by the sunflower seeds. Taste for seasoning, adding more salt as needed. Serve warm or at room temperature.


Makes about 3/4 cup.

This is a great way to repurpose whole cranberries that didn’t make their way into sauce for the Thanksgiving table. I love having roasted crans on hand to punch up a salad or just eat out of the jar. The amounts below are enough for the wild rice recipe, but can be easily doubled.

If using frozen cranberries, do not thaw, as you will end up with a watery mess.


  • 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons neutral oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
  • Pinch of salt


1. Preheat the oven to 400 F.

2. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

3. In a large bowl, stir all the ingredients together until the fruit is evenly coated. Arrange in a single layer on the pan and roast for 20 minutes. Cool completely before adding to the wild rice.

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