Wild Rice Pilaf with Cranberries, Kalamatas, and Cilantro

My oldest son is home on spring break and I wanted to make something nice to welcome him.  I bought some beautiful inch thick rib chops and wanted a pilaf to have with it.  My husband was grilling the chops with a garlic and sage rub.  The sage made me think of cranberries and sweet potatoes.  I know its spring, but some flavors are just timeless and not just for fall meals.  I helped him make the pilaf since he had never made one before.  Once again, I was thrilled that I found a side dish with vegetables that my carnivorous sons found tasty.

You’ll need:

1 1/2 cups of wild and brown rice pilaf

3 cups chicken or vegetable stock

Olive oil, as needed

1 large onion, diced

1 1/2 cup of sweet potato, diced

1 cup chopped pecans

1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted and chopped

1/2 cup chopped cilantro

Make dressing as follows:

1 tsp ground cumin

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/4 cup orange juice

1 tsp ground ginger

2 Tbs honey

1/4 cup olive oil

salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

Cook wild rice pilaf with stock until liquid is absorbed.  Set aside.

While the rice is cooking….

In a large skillet, saute onion and sweet potato in olive oil over medium heat until onion is golden and potatoes are almost tender.  Add chopped pecan and saute a few minutes longer, being careful not to burn the nuts.  Turn off heat.

In a small bowl, combine cumin, cinnamon, lemon juice, orange juice, ginger and honey.  Slowly add olive oil while stirring with a whisk to emulsify dressing. Combine pilaf and vegetable saute together. Add olives, cilantro and pour on dressing.  Mix and add salt and pepper to taste.  Serve warm or at room temp.  Enjoy

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