Side dishes are as important and the mains in Christmas dinners :). Many don’t pay much attention to them but in reality, they add a nice touch to out Christmas dinner! This wholegrain Christmas rice has leek, cranberries, almonds, pecans, seeds and a lot of love.
It’s important that you toast your nuts and seeds before adding them to the rice. This really brings out the flavour in them and makes them extra crispy. To toast them, pop them in a preheated at 140°C / 280°F for 5-10 minutes. Be careful because they go from golden to burnt in a second! Stay cautious ;).
Wholegrain rice can be a bit tricky to cook and it even varies in the end result between brands. For me, a great tip for cooking this wholegrain Christmas rice is to wash thoroughly the rice before cooking to make it less starchy. Sometimes this type of rice can develop a goopy kind of texture if not washed. By washing it, we get a nice fluffy texture. The other thing that you need to consider is that wholegrain rice needs a longer cooking time than white rice because of the fibre in it.
If you still need protein ideas for your Christmas dinner, I recommend my roasted turkey with honey and citrus or my spinach, cranberry and walnut stuffed pork loin :). Also, if you’re truly desperate and haven’t yet figured out what’s going to be on your menu, check my Christmas section on the blog. Last but not least, of course, you can make this rice at any time of the year or even remove the dried cranberries if you don’t want that sweet touch. If you prefer, you can also make my Peruvian-style Arab rice.
Wholegrain Christmas Rice
- 1 leek, only the white part, chopped
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 2 cups wholegrain rice
- 100 g dried cranberries
- Salt and pepper
- 4 cups water
- 40 g sliced almonds toasted
- 70 g pecans toasted
- 40 g pumpkin seeds toasted
Wash the rice until the water runs clear.
Cook the leek in olive oil over medium heat until it's soft and slightly golden.
Add the white wine and let it evaporate completely before adding the rice.
Add the rice, salt, pepper and dried cranberries and mix up to heat everything up.
Add the water and when it breaks into a boil, reduce the heat to a minimum and put a lid on the pot. Let the rice cook. Wholegrain rice takes longer to cook and will take from 40 minutes to 1 hour and 10 minutes, depending on your stove. To see if it's ready, remove the lid and carefully move a bit of rice to one side using a fork. The base should be dry before turning off the heat.
Once dry, remove the lid and turn off the heat. Leave the rice with the lid off for about 10 minutes so the extra moisture leaves. Then, mix the rice with a fork to fluff it up.
Add the almonds, pecans, pumpkin seeds and mix them in.