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Wild Rice and Mushroom Casserole

Wild Rice and Mushroom Casserole (WPLG, INC.)

Wild Rice and Mushroom Casserole

Recipe from Melissa Clark cooking.nytimes.com

2¼ cups vegetable, mushroom or chicken broth or stock

sea salt

1¼ cups wild rice, rinsed

10 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, more as needed

1 pound sliced mushrooms, preferably a mix of different kinds

3 leeks, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced

2 fennel bulbs, trimmed and chopped (about 2 cups)

5 ounces baby spinach (about 4 cups)

7 fat garlic cloves (4 chopped, 3 finely grated or crushed into a paste)

1⁄2 tablespoon tomato paste

1⁄8 teaspoon red pepper flakes

4 (14-ounce) cans white beans

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1⁄3 cup chopped fresh cilantro (or basil)

1⁄3 cup chopped fresh parsley

2½ cups panko or coarse bread crumbs

1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped

1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest

1⁄3 cup grated Parmesan cheese (optional) flaky sea salt, for garnish

Taste broth; if bland, season to taste with salt. In a medium pot, bring broth to a boil over high heat. Stir in rice, lower heat, cover and simmer until just tender, about 40 minutes or according to package directions. Fluff rice with a fork, cover and let stand for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, sauté vegetables: In a large, heavy skillet, heat 3 tablespoons oil over high heat. Add half the mushrooms and cook, stirring, until brown and crispy, about 8 minutes. Adjust heat as needed to prevent burning. Transfer cooked mushrooms to a plate and sprinkle lightly with salt. Repeat with remaining mushrooms and another tablespoon oil, adding more oil to the skillet if it looks dry.

In the empty skillet, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat. Stir in leeks, fennel and 1 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring, until soft but not browned, about 8 minutes. Stir in spinach, chopped garlic, tomato paste and red pepper flakes, and cook until garlic starts turning golden, another 2 minutes. Remove skillet from heat.

Heat oven to 400˚F, and oil a 9-by-13-inch casserole dish. In a blender, purée 2 cans beans with their liquid, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 grated garlic clove, and salt to taste. (If your beans are unsalted, they might need more than you’d think.) Stir bean purée, remaining whole beans (drained), mushrooms, cilantro, parsley and cooked wild rice into skillet with vegetables. Taste and add more salt or lemon as needed; it should be well seasoned. Scrape into prepared baking dish.

In a small bowl, combine bread crumbs, rosemary, lemon zest, remaining 2 grated garlic cloves and ¼ teaspoon salt. Stir in ¼ cup olive oil. Sprinkle Parmesan, if using, evenly on top of casserole and bake until golden, 20 to 30 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving, topped with flaky sea salt.

About the Author:

Born and raised in Miami, of Jewish and Latinx descent, Chef Michelle “Michy” Bernstein is the host of Local10’s Emmy-Award winning SoFlo TASTE and a fixture in the culinary world.