Perennial Savory Pilaf: What do you think?

What do you think of the savory pilaf? Let us know in this forum post! Should we make any changes this month to it?

We’ve heard from one member: “We also enjoyed the pilaf, although it was even better the following day, as the mushroom really soaked in the extra water and were less chewy. So next time, I’ll soak the pilaf mix overnight before cooking.”

Here are some things we’re wondering:

  • Would you prefer it without spices and mushrooms, like the hot cereal?
  • We refrained from herbs to make it more flexible, but could make a specific flavor.
  • Are there other grains you’re interested in? Wild Rice, Rice, Heritage Wheat Berries, etc.?
  • Do you want it to cook faster?
  • Do you want less chew, more chew?

I like it just how it is in terms of spices. If you make it straight up it tastes great, but the flavor is still neutral enough to have it with a variety of cuisines, and neutral enough that dressing it up with sauteed greens or onions doesn’t overload on flavor! As far as other grains, I always love wild rice, and think the earthy flavor would compliment the mushrooms really well. On the texture front I would not make any changes.

I liked it ‘as is’. Used it for a grain bowl with roasted butternut squash and kale, and an herb buttermilk dressing.

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Can you make it without mushrooms? Some people love them, I am not one of them tho!

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@lindseygrad Great feedback! We were just discussing this today.

We couldn’t find dried mushrooms that met our sourcing standards, so spent a day in the kitchen cutting, roasting, and drying organic, gourmet mushrooms. It was pretty labor intensive to process the mushrooms, and an experiment. We’re leaning towards finding other umami flavors to add, knowing that people can add their own mushrooms if they want to.

What we learned about the mushroom supply chain is that all of the fresh mushroom growers around the country don’t need to dry their mushrooms: their products aren’t seasonal, and they have established markets for fresh product. The only companies drying are in China, and the prices they’re offering would be very hard to compete with in the US. So, we’re leaning towards thinking that dried mushrooms are maybe not a part of a regenerative supply chain. Perhaps they’re a product that should just be sourced fresh and local.

Plus, some people don’t love them!

I’m another who would prefer the pilaf without the dried mushrooms. We get our mushrooms fresh and locally grown. Also, we had a problem with getting the pilaf to a dry fluffy stage - perhaps I need to adjust the amount of water or increase the heat?

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I’d prefer the pilaf without the mushrooms. The mushrooms are so light compared to the grain that when pouring out a cup to cook, I found that I needed to pour out the entire package so I could mix things up first. For spices, I always add my own combination of stuff to my pilaf so I’d be OK if the spices weren’t included. I’m going to try making a tabouleh-type side with the mix as I have a lot of parsley and mint that I brought in from the garden that needs to be used. I’ll keep you posted.

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With the caveat that I like mushrooms, I really liked the pilaf. If the pilaf had been plain, I would likely have added mushrooms in the hopes of creating a dish with the flavor of the mix that you created.

My suggestion would probably be to have two sets of directions - one with the more al dente result that the current instructions make and maybe an alternative with a softer finish.

Wild rice would be an interesting addition (with or without mushrooms). I can definitely see the appeal of a plain version that can be taken in any flavor direction.

Keeping the cooking time similar to white rice makes it easy to switch to kernza and not extend meal prep time. If there was a way to make a pilaf fast enough to be similar to cous cous or bulgur cook time- that would be great as an additional product as long as there wasn’t a sacrifice in nutrition.

Definitely less chew and faster cooking. A flavor profile would be nice. And yes, instructions to soak it the night before if that will help with the chewiness.