Wild Rice Pilaf with Pumpkin Seeds

  • 1/2 cup raw hulled green pumpkin seeds
  • Dash of kosher salt or coarse sea salt
  • Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 TBS unsalted butter
  • 2 TBS yellow onion, minced
  • 1 cup wild rice, rinsed
  • 2 cups water or more if needed
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries

In a dry frying pan over medium to high heat, toast the pumpkin seeds, tossing them constantly, until they start to pop, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the salt and pepper and continue to toss until the popping stops, about 1 minute longer. Remove from heat and set aside. In a saucepan over medium to high heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and cook until softened and golden, about 1 minute. Add the rice and stir to coat with the butter. Cook stirring occasionally about 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in 1 1/4 cups of water and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low-medium and cook until the water is absorbed and the grains have begun to burst, about 40 to 60 minutes. The cooking time will depend on whether the wild rice was cultivated or wild and where and how it was harvested. After 30 minutes, check to see if the pan is dry and, if necessary, add a little water. When the rice is ready, remove cover, fold in the pumpkin seeds and dried cranberries. Cover again and remove from heat. Let rest for 5 minutes; then, taste and adjust the seasoning.

Transfer the rice to a serving bowl and serve hot or at room temperature.