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Wild Rice Risotto

By Sophie Dahl

I grew up on this, and it became handy when I stopped eating meat at eleven. ‘What shall we feed Sophie?’ came the cry. ‘Oh, just give her some risotto.’ They did, and I learnt how to cook it. When I was older and everyone was bored of making risotto, it became, "Oh just give her a piece of cheese." This risotto is also very good cold, and you can put it in a greased round mould overnight, refrigerate it and turn it out the next day. It looks splendid.

Photography by Jan Baldwin

Also see haddock with livornese Sauce

  • Serves: 6
  • Preparation time: 15 minutes
  • Cooking time: 50 minutes


  • 125g wild rice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 20g butter
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 leek, white part only, chopped
  • 250g portabellini mushrooms
  • 1 courgette, finely grated
  • 1 large carrot, coarsely grated
  • 400g brown basmati rice
  • 150ml white wine
  • 750ml vegetable or chicken stock, hot
  • 10g flat-leaf parsley
  • 10g coriander


  1. First, cook the wild rice as directed (double the water to the dry measurement and cook in salted water for 40 minutes). Drain.
  2. In a big pan, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and gently sweat the shallots, garlic and leek for about 4 minutes or so. Add the courgette/zucchini, carrot and mushrooms and cook for another few minutes. Add the brown rice and stir, making sure it is coated with the oil (add a little extra oil if necessary).
  3. Pour in a little of the warm stock and stir until it has been absorbed by the rice. Give it a quick thimbleful of wine or Pernod. Keep stirring and keep adding stock until the rice is cooked and all the stock has been absorbed – about 35 minutes.
  4. Add the wild rice and with it another spoonful of olive oil. Add the chopped parsley and coriander/cilantro and the almonds. Give one last stir and serve.