Wild & Brown Rice with Black Beluga Lentils

Ever feel taken for granted? Ever take a loved one for granted? It happens, both ways, often with the people who matter the most. Just ask any parent — its a thankless job. (Um, Dad, in the off-chance you are reading this, thank you. For…

Wild & Brown Rice with Black Beluga Lentils

Ever feel taken for granted? Ever take a loved one for granted? It happens, both ways, often with the people who matter the most. Just ask any parent — its a thankless job. (Um, Dad, in the off-chance you are reading this, thank you. For everything.)

The sad thing is, the more you need someone in your life, chances are high that we go through moments where we neglect them. Then we realize it when they are gone.

I don’t mean to be a bummer today, but I just realized that with food, it’s no different. It is easy to overlook the basics, the cornerstones of our diet. When I decide what foods to share with you, it is far more exciting to talk about ooey gooey chocolate cookies and fall of the bone short ribs. Let’s be honest, when you saw the title today, did you think, Whoopee! Wild rice!

Yeah, I didn’t think so.

These whole grains deserve a little time in the spotlight. And I know there are a few of you who would like the recipe to this medley. When I posted my Pork Tenderloin with Cranberry Wine Sauce, I received several requests for the rice pictured on the dish. I realized I need to stop taking wild rice for granted.

Forget for a moment that these grains and lentils are so healthy and nutritious. Forget for a moment how much better it is than plain old white rice. I have a new appreciation for their beauty. The Black Beluga Lentils are like dainty black pearls waiting to be strung. I love the shape of raw wild rice grains.

A great side to any meal, I love that you can easily transform Wild & Brown Rice with Black Beluga Lentils into something with a little more pizzazz. Remember those glazed carrots from not too long ago? Toss them in with a drizzle of sherry vinegar, a glug of olive oil and you have a hearty wild rice salad. I would say it is quite pretty, too.

Wild & Brown Rice with Black Beluga Lentils

4-6 servings.

With three elements to cook separately, this may seem more hassle than it's worth, but the beauty of this rice dish is that you can cook them in advance, several days even. The cooked rice can even be frozen. With batches of each in your refrigerator, it's nice to have, lets say, cooked lentils for other meals.


8 oz uncooked brown rice
4 oz uncooked wild rice
4 oz uncooked black beluga lentils
2 1/2 cups vegetable stock
2 1/2 cups plus 1 cup water to cook brown rice and lentils, respectively
Kosher salt, to taste


Cook each rice and the lentils separately:

Brown rice: Combine brown rice with 2 1/2 cups water in a saucepan and stir. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer. Cover and simmer for about 10-12 minutes, or according to the product instructions, until the water has been absorbed.

Wild rice: Combine wild rice with vegetable stock in a saucepan and stir. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 50-60 minutes. Not all the liquid will be absorbed. Drain the rice and reserve the stock.

Black Beluga Lentils: Combine lentils with 1 cup water and bring to a boil. Cover, lower heat and simmer for about 10 minutes. Drain.

Combine the cooked rice and lentils, adding some reserved vegetable stock from the wild rice if the mixture is dry. Season to taste with salt.


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  1. David Ewing

    Quite a good dish, but I think you must have been using parboiled or some other version of instant brown rice. The package directions for the whole grain brown rice I used suggest simmering it for a half hour, but at this altitude (1 mile high, Albuquerque) it took nearly a full hour. Ten or twelve minutes wasn’t enough to even get started cooking it. I’m sure the dish otherwise would be good as written, but we kicked it up a notch by adding some onion caramelized with a little bit of minced apple. You must be feeding lumberjacks to get only “4-6 servings.” I think seven of us only ate about a third of the recipe–no problem though, I froze the leftovers in two separate containers for two more meals. (BTW, Rancho Gordo has the black beluga lentils and wild rice available on-line.)

    • Liren Baker

      Hi David, you’re right – I’ve since cooked with so many different versions of brown rice that there is definitely a wide variety of possibilities when it comes to cooking time — my current favorite brand typically takes about 40 minutes without altitude. The altitude certainly makes things harder! Love the addition of caramelized onion and apple – that sounds wonderful!

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  3. susan

    I love black lentils. Loving the combo of both wild and brown rice. Putting this at the top of my to-do list!

  4. Kate

    Caramelized onions, rice, and lentils is a CLASSIC dish so it’s no wonder your side dish is delish! I’ll have to try it with carrots next time. Good idea.

    Megadarra, also called Mujudarra in various spellings, is a traditional middle eastern dish of rice, lentils and onions. It’s inexpensive to prepare, filling, and healthy, and was considered “food for the poor” until everyone learned how fantastic it is, and then it crossed all class boundaries.

    You wouldn’t think such humble ingredients could turn out such a stellar side dish, and yet, they do. They team together to make a simple wonderful side dish which is good hot or cold, and ages well — the taste is as great on Day 3 as it was on Day 1.

    Claudia Roden, in her 2000 cookbook “in The New Book of Middle Eastern Food” said:

    “An aunt of mine used to present megadarra regularly to guests with the comment: ‘Excuse the food of the poor!’–to which the unanimous reply always was: ‘Keep your food of kings and give us megadarra every day!’”

  5. angela@spinachtiger

    I just made fall off the bone short ribs yesterday, but that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate this dish, which is so very healthy and good tasting. I have some wild rice that I have neglected so thanks for the push. I really love the last photo. Is that tomatoes you added in?

  6. Jeanette

    I actually was excited to find a post with black beluga lentils. I usually cook rice and lentils as separate dishes, but I love the idea of combining them to make this pretty dish.

  7. Ellen

    Thankyou so much!! I will admit that I did say a small whoopie!! When I got the email notifying me this recipe was up :3 bought my first bag of brown rice and everything!!

    • Liren

      Ellen, you are so welcome! And thanks for the whoopie, that makes me happy :) Enjoy the weekend!

  8. Gina

    Yum! We made a huge slow cooker full of lentils and veggies on Monday that I’ve been putting over brown rice for lunches and am loving it! I’ve never seen these black lentils but am going to see if I can find them at our local store.

  9. Jean

    I just saw another post featuring black beluga lentils and realized that I have never tried them. After seeing your post, too, I am determined to add them to my pantry. I already have the wild and brown rice to complete your ingredient list. I think the hubs will be very happy with me when I make this for him! Thanks, Liren!

  10. J @ ... semplicemente j ...

    Black Beluga Lentils … look like beautiful caviar … had never heard of them … RICE is however never overlooked in my household … if I could just control the portions I would be having any type of rice morning, noon and night!

    Delicious … I have added it to my to do list!

    • Liren

      I know what you mean! Growing up, there was a lot of rice, mostly jasmine, for nearly every meal. Love rice and eggs for breakfast still! But I do try to make an effort to vary up the grains, so this helps :)

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