Wild Rice Skillet with Hazelnuts and Wild Berries

I am happy to say that we are again visiting one of our favorite places:  Lake Superior’s North Shore in Minnesota.   Aside from the majestic views of the lake and the great hiking along the Superior Hiking Trail, we have enjoyed getting to know and taste some of the great food this area provides.

Lake Agnes near Lutsen

A view of Lake Agnes, near Lutsen, Minnesota.

Yesterday, we took advantage of a beautifully clear and warm day to go on a long hike to Lake Agnes with our two black labs.  They loved it, though they were dragging as we neared the end of the hike.  We were more than a bit tired too!

Wild Raspberries

And just this morning, we made good use of the abundant wild raspberries just a short walk down from our cabin to make this breakfast.   I would never have thought to combine wild rice with sweet flavors, especially for breakfast.  But it definitely works.

I came across this recipe in Dishing Up Minnesota:  150 Recipes from the Land of 10,000 Lakes, a cookbook written a couple of years ago by Teresa Marrone.  I kept this recipe in mind, along with a few others, when we planned to come back here this summer.  Below is my slight adaptation of her recipe.


Wild Rice Breakfast Skillet with Hazelnuts and Wild Berries

2 cups water

2 ½ tablespoons baking soda

2 – 3 ounces hazelnuts, skin on and unsalted

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 cup wild rice, rinsed well  (see note below)

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

½ cup dried apples, diced

3 tablespoons maple syrup

½ teaspoon salt, or to taste

1 ½ cups mixed berries, wild variety preferred

Heavy cream or whole milk for serving

In a large sauce pan, bring 4 cups of water to a boil.  Once the water is boiling, add the wild rice and reduce the heat.  Cover and simmer for about 45 minutes.  Once the wild rice is tender, drain the rice well and set aside.

Hazelnuts in the Colander

While the wild rice is simmering, bring the two cups of water to a boil.  Add the baking soda and add the hazelnuts.  Simmer for about 3 – 4 minutes.  Drain and rinse.  With your fingers, rub off the skin from each hazelnut and split them in half.  It is easier to remove the skins if you place them in a bowl of water as you remove skins or in a thin stream of water.  Once the skin is removed, dry the hazelnuts well.

Hazelnuts toasting

In a skillet, add the vegetable oil over medium-low heat and sauté the hazelnuts until they are lightly browned.  Set them aside in a separate bowl.

Hazelnuts added to the Wild Rice and Dried Apples

In the same skillet, add the butter to melt and then add the cooked wild rice.  Reheat briefly and then add the dried apples along with the maple syrup and salt.  Cook for about 5 minutes so the wild rice absorbs some of the maple syrup.  Add the hazelnuts, stir and remove from the heat.  Let it cool for about 5 minutes.

Serve the mixture into separate bowls and top with the fresh berries and some maple syrup.  Serve with the cream or milk, if desired.

Wild Rice Breakfast Skillet 2

Note:  Teresa Marrone’s version of this recipe calls for “genuine” wild rice, which is not easy to get outside of Minnesota.  If you can find it and want to use that, her recipe is a bit different because this type of wild rice cooks more quickly.  Cultivated wild rice takes a bit longer to cook.

Here is her suggestion for using “genuine” wild rice:  After the hazelnuts are done and removed from the skillet, she adds the butter and then the rice along with 2 ¾ cups of water to the same skillet.  The water comes to a gentle boil and the wild rice cooks for about 15 minutes or until you get to the texture you like.  She then proceeds to add the dried apples, maple syrup and salt.  She cooks the wild rice until all the water has evaporated.  You then add the hazelnuts and continue as described above.

Below is a video clip of Teresa Marrone of an appearance she made for KARE, a television station in the Twin Cities.  She mentions this recipe during the segment.  I thought you might like to hear talk about her book and some of the recipes.

Darwin and Russell After the Lake Agnes Hike

Our dogs, Russell and Darwin, in the car on the way back to the cabin after the hike to Lake Agnes.


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