Red Rice and Quinoa Stuffing — Recipes for Health
Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times
Mushrooms lend a meaty element to this savory mixture of red rice and quinoa, and kale adds color in addition to its many nutrients.
1 bunch kale, stemmed and washed thoroughly
1 1/2 cups red rice, like Lundberg Wehani or Bhutanese red rice
1/2 cup quinoa (blond, not red or black)
4 1/2 cups water, chicken stock or vegetable stock
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 small or medium onion, finely chopped
1 cup diced celery
2 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 pound cremini or white mushrooms, trimmed and sliced
1/4 cup dry white wine
Freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage (more to taste)
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add salt to taste and the kale. Blanch for 4 minutes and transfer the kale to a bowl of cold water. Drain, squeeze out water and chop medium-fine. Transfer to a large bowl.
2. Place 3 cups of the stock or water in one medium saucepan with the red rice and the remaining 1 1/2 cups in another smaller saucepan with the quinoa and bring both to a boil. You can use some of the cooking water from the kale for this, but don’t use all kale water, as the flavor will be bitter. Add salt to taste, reduce the heat, cover and simmer the rice until it is tender and no liquid remains in the pan, 30 to 50 minutes depending on the type of rice used (follow the timing instructions on the package). Cook the quinoa for 15 minutes, until the grains are tender and display a little thread. If any liquid remains in the pot, drain through a strainer, then return the quinoa to the pot. When the grains are cooked, place clean kitchen towels over the tops of the pots. Return the lids and let sit for 10 to 15 minutes, then transfer to the bowl with the kale.
3. While the grains are cooking, prepare the remaining ingredients. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium heat in a large, heavy skillet and add the onion. Cook, stirring often, until the onion begins to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the celery and a generous pinch of salt, and continue to cook until the onion is completely tender, another 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, another 30 to 60 seconds. Remove from the heat and transfer to the bowl with the kale and grains.
4. Return the pan to medium-high heat and add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. When it is hot, add the mushrooms. Cook the mushrooms, stirring or shaking the pan, until they are lightly seared and tender. Add the wine and salt and pepper to taste and cook, stirring to deglaze the bottom of the pan, until all of the liquid has evaporated. Add to the grains. Stir in the remaining ingredients and combine well. Taste and adjust seasonings, and transfer to a lightly oiled or buttered baking dish. Cover with foil.
5. Warm the stuffing in a 325-degree oven for 20 to 30 minutes before serving.
Yield: Makes about 7 cups, serving 12 to 14.
Advance preparation: The cooked grains will keep for 3 days in the refrigerator and can be frozen. The stuffing benefits from being made a day ahead.
Nutritional information per serving (12 servings): 152 calories; 1 gram saturated fat; 1 gram polyunsaturated fat; 2 grams monounsaturated fat; 0 milligrams cholesterol; 27 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams dietary fiber; 20 milligrams sodium (does not include salt to taste); 4 grams protein.
Martha Rose Shulman is the author of “The Very Best of Recipes for Health.”