If only you could smell this through the screen.
I don't eat plain rice often because honestly? I think it's a waste of calories for not much taste. But this? Oh my gosh this dish is amazing. Absolutely amazing. The black rice is nutty and chewy, the brown and red rices add a melt-in-your-mouth texture, and the white rice helps it all stick together. After cooking the mixture turns fragrant, slightly sweet, and delightfully addictive on its own. Sauté with the mushrooms and carrots and it gets crispy on the edges, and becomes a savory, gooey, warming hug on the inside. It is a perfect, impressive side dish that will hold its own against any entree.
I always have innocent intentions to eat one portion, but inevitably devour the entire bowl. That means it's good and you should MAKE IT NOW.
Mushrooms with their woody-ness and ability to sponge up flavors work really well in this, and carrots add an autumn flair and a bright pop of color. But feel free to customize! I imagine squash, sweet potato, dried cranberries, figs, or sultanas, and crushed pecans or walnuts would pair beautifully.
Black Rice, Mushroom and Carrot Pilaf
1 cup black rice
1/4 cup red rice
1/4 cup brown rice
1/8 cup white rice
1 cup dried mushrooms
2 Tbsp oil
Pinch of peppercorns
2 carrots, diced
1/4 cup crushed pecans, optional
---In a medium bowl, mix rices together and cover with water; let soak overnight.
---In a separate bowl, add mushrooms, cover with water, and let soak for 4-5 hours.
Drain the rice, add just enough fresh water to cover, and place in pressure cooker. Steam for about 25 minutes, until rice is soft but still chewy. DO NOT open pressure cooker to check unless you want to blow up your house.
Remove mushrooms and boil them in a pot for 5 minutes. Drain in a colander, then dice.
Scoop about 1.5 cups of the cooked rice mixture and dump into pan. Turn the heat down a bit and cook for 3-4 minutes while constantly stirring. Add salt to taste.
Transfer to a serving bowl, top with pecans if using, and enjoy!
Leftovers heat like a dream, simply cover with plastic wrap and store in the fridge. When needed, just pan fry to reheat.