My Wild Rice Bowl with Watercress and Hazelnuts is a quick pilaf of rice and mushrooms served warm over spicy watercress and topped with toasted hazelnuts. This earthy gluten free vegan bowl celebrates the best fall flavors!
*This post is in partnership with Swanson® ~ thank you for supporting me and the brands I work with, I’m super choosy and promise to bring you only the best.
I get all kinds of visitors here at tvfgi, over a million every month ~ some of you are teenagers, others are well into your eighties, and I love that! But can you guess the biggest group, by far, of readers here?
It’s Millennials, and that’s no surprise because you’re the ‘foodie generation’. You guys are responsible for some of the biggest changes in eating habits in generations and all of us, no matter when we were born, are getting swept up in your enthusiasm: food is fun!
Millennial food rules…
- No cookbooks – you’ll crowd source your recipes online.
- Instacart > grocery cart – you like your food to come to you, and there are plenty of apps for that.
- Mash it up! – you’re not afraid of new combinations.
- Splurge a little – the good stuff is worth it.
- No GMOs – you want fresh, whole food and you really do care where it comes from.
- Put a runny egg on it – you’ll grab your protein however you can get it.
- Say cheese! – your food is always Instagram ready
- Ditch the plate – dinner tastes better in a bowl.
- Flavor is everything – you crave new, exciting, extreme tastes.
- Binge cook – just like you watch your favorite Netflix show, meal prep is key.
- Size doesn’t matter – you’re into authentic brands, big or small.
Millennials are changing all of our eating habits for sure. I rarely do classic meals with separate protein/veg/starch anymore. Instead I’ll cook everything on a sheet pan, or in one big pot. My ingredient lists are getting shorter, and so is my cooking time. When I use fewer ingredients, every one counts and has to earn its spot in my recipe. For this simple wild rice bowl I’ll cook the rice in 100% natural Swanson Vegetable broth to give it a flavor boost. I choose Swanson because they get it, they know I don’t want to cook with artificial ingredients, and they give me lots of choices (low sodium, gluten free, organic…) so I can customize my stocks and broths to my recipes. While I chose to go vegetarian today, any of the Swanson products would enhance this dish.
The number one reason I use Swanson stocks and broths in my cooking is because I prefer their light, natural flavor. They taste like something I would make from scratch.
more flavor stories…
I infuse flavor into these wild rice bowls in lots of other ways, too. I’ll dry saute my mushrooms in my cast iron pan without oil or butter. This method is great for intensifying their earthy, ‘meaty’ flavor.
While I’m cooking the mushrooms I roast the hazelnuts in a 350F oven for 15 minutes. I roast them until they are actually brown inside, and that’s the secret to their addictive flavor. They come out so delicious and crunchy it’s hard not to devour them before the salad’s ready.
Watercress has got such a nice peppery flavor, it really adds a zip to this bowl. Whenever I can I like to pick up living greens.
Living greens are lettuces and herbs that are sold in their living form, with roots in soil! Find them right in the produce section. They keep well, and when I’m ready to use them, all I have to do is snip them off. It doesn’t get any fresher.
If the rice is cooked and the nuts toasted the night before, it’s a pleasure to put this bowl together at the end of a busy day: it takes just a few minutes.
Let’s see how this wild rice bowl measures up according to Millennial food rules …
dinner in a bowl ~ check.
a unique combination ~ check.
alternative protein sources ~ check.
amped up flavors ~ check.
Instagram worthy ~ check.
prep-able ~ check.
all natural, no GMOs, or preservatives ~ I used Swanson broth, so check, check, and check!
More wild rice recipes on tvfgi:
- CREAMY CHICKEN WITH WILD RICE AND MUSHROOMS
- WILD RICE SALAD WITH CRANBERRIES AND NUTS
- BASMATI AND WILD RICE WITH CHICKPEAS, CURRANTS, AND HERBS
- HARVEST SALAD WITH POMEGRANATE ALLSPICE DRESSING
*recipe lightly adapted from Bon Appétit
- 6 ounces, about 1 cup, raw wild rice
- 3 cups (24 ounces) Swanson Vegetable broth
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/3 cup whole raw hazelnuts
- 4 ounces brown mushrooms, sliced
- 2 Tbsp butter (or olive oil)
- 1/2 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cups fresh watercress, rinsed and dried
- 1/4 cup sherry vinegar
- 1 Tbsp maple syrup
- 1 Tbsp grainy mustard
- micro greens (optional)
- Set oven to 350F
- Put the rice, broth, and bay leaf in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and cook, partially covered, for about 45 minutes, or until the rice is just barely tender. If your rice is still too firm, cook it a little longer, adding extra water or broth if the liquid is too low. Drain.
- Meanwhile put the hazelnuts on a dry baking sheet and roast them for 15 minutes, shaking the pan to redistribute the nuts once during that time. Remove and let cool on the pan. When the nuts are cool, wrap them in a clean dish cloth and rub the nuts together to remove most of their skins. Discard the skins and give the nuts a rough chop.
- Dry saute the mushrooms in a skillet, stirring until they are browned and fragrant. Remove to a plate.
- Melt the butter in the same pan and saute the onions and garlic for about 7 minutes until just turning golden. Add the rice to the pan, stir well, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Keep warm.
- Whisk the dressing ingredients together and taste to adjust.
- Arrange the watercress in a shallow salad bowl and top with the rice mixture. Drizzle with the dressing.
- Scatter the nuts over top, and garnish with the micro greens.
Make it your own ~
- Use another type of rice or grain for the base of this bowl, like red or brown rice, wheat or rye berries, etc.
- Put a runny egg on it ;) Or some rotisserie chicken, grilled salmon, or shrimp for an extra dose of protein.
- Don’t love watercress? Go with arugula.
- Toss on some thick shavings of Gruyere cheese.
Don’t forget to pin this Wild Rice Bowl with Watercress and Hazelnuts