Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Heidi's Wild Rice Casserole

       This weekend was a time to celebrate fathers. I celebrated mine with a casserole. A really great one. Now, rarely will one find me drawing a steamy casserole from my oven. First, they're just not usually my style. Most are dripping with pounds of cheese and butter and mayo (gag. well, you know...those things are clearly tasty [see all previous posts], just in their right proportions.). Second, most serve a family of 8 which, well, doesn't make much sense for little ole me. Turns out, last week I offered myself as the cook for this year's Father's Day lunch. I began to flip through my mental file of entree ideas when, Wait! I realized, I haven't made anything from my new cookbook yet! Gasp. I'd waited far too long. Heidi Swanson. If you read any number of food blogs or the like then you must have heard of her. Adorable name and all, she's an inspirational cook with a natural, seasonal, healthy approach to food. This I love. My sister Courtney gave me her most recent book for my birthday: Super Natural Every Day. It's phenomenal. Chock-full of dreamy photos and beautiful writing, plus a collection of must-make-now recipes. I'm so excited to try them all. I'd bookmarked one from the start...surprisingly, a casserole. A wild rice casserole to be exact. Having heard such respectable things about Heidi (we're totally on a first-name basis), I thought no casserole of hers could possibly be overly cheesed or sour I gave it a try and...LOVE. We were all passing our plates over for second and third servings, running fingers along the sides of the bowl to get the last bits (ok, maybe that was just me. oops.). A delicious, hearty winner. I knew Heidi wouldn't disappoint. While this dish does call for its share of cheese and cream, the balance is just right and the wild/brown rice combo lends the perfect healthy bite. Dad loved it. And I've officially added it to my sparse "entree" file. Thanks, Heidi.

{lovely sister, brys, accurately demonstrating our ravenous love for this casserole}
{my amazing dad: doctor, painter, motorcycler, triathloner (soon-to-be!), bonsai-er, handyman extraordinaire, and so much more. i love you and am so proud to call you dad. thank you for all you teach me, for all the ways you love and support me. you are loved. happy father's day week!}
{sunflowers. coffee. dark chocolate. card. we love dad.}

borrowed from Heidi Swanson
serves 6

2 large eggs
1 cup cottage cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon Dijon-style or whole grain mustard
fine-grain sea salt
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
8 ounces cremini (aka baby portabello) mushrooms, chopped
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 cups cooked wild rice/brown rice (I used 1.5 cups of each), room temperature
1/3 cup (0.5 ounce) grated Gruyere cheese (I added some parmesan at the end, too)
1 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon or thyme (I had the latter on hand and used it)

1. Preheat oven to 350F with rack in top third of oven. 
2. Rub medium-large baking dish with olive oil (just under 9x13-inch dish) and set aside.
3. In large bowl, whisk eggs, cottage cheese, sour cream, mustard, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
4. In large skillet over high heat, combine olive oil with a couple pinches salt, stir in the chopped mushrooms and leave sitting for about 3-5 minutes. This allows the water in them to evaporate. 
5. After about 5 minutes, stir mushrooms now and then for a couple more minutes until browned, then add onion and cook until translucent, about 3 minutes.
6. Stir in garlic and cook for another minute, then remove skillet from heat. 
7. Add cooked rice to skillet and stir until combined.
8. Add rice mixture to cottage cheese mixture, stir until well combined, and spread into prepared dishes.
9. Sprinkle with two-thirds of the grated cheese and cover with foil.
10. Bake for 30 minutes, remove the foil, then bake for another 20 to 30 minutes until the top is colorful and the edges golden. Sprinkle with tarragon and remaining cheese. Serve!


  1. love this post, lane!! i wish i could have been there with you guys at father's day! i have such a beautiful family!! :)
    hey can you add in a closer-up picture of the casserole, so we can see its "insides"? so glad you like the cookbook!

    love you!

  2. c- wish you could have been here, too. missed you! i would love to add a decent close-up of the "insides" but i just did't snap enough shots and the ones i got were blurry and not real helpful. just imagine all that rice mixed w mushrooms and creamy goodness--got it? or better yet, make it! xo

  3. if you look up in the photos section on the left, there's a bit of a blurry shot of the inside--bottom left picture. just for you. :)

  4. I LOVE Heidi Swanson! I got her other cookbook, "Super Natural Cooking", a few years back, and I love checking recipes on her blog too. I'm definitely going to have to try this one out, and probably pick up the new cookbook too!

  5. brittainy- yes, i'm loving her stuff, too. even just *looking* at it! and this casserole *was* super tasty while still not feeling too crazy indulgent. you should try it. hope you're doing well! :)

  6. oh, well this is just great XD haha