This makes a great side dish with roasted poultry or pork tenderloin. The rice blend comes in a large plastic container and is available at Market Street and Target, as well as online.

NOTE: Do not overcook the pears or they will break down and become mushy.


  • 1 cup uncooked Texmati Rice Blend (white, brown, wild, red)
  • 1½ cups water
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. butter
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 8-12 oz. sweet Italian sausage (casing removed if using links), crumbled
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely diced
  • 2 Tbsp. dry white wine or vermouth
  • 1½ Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme
  • ½ Tbsp. dried Italian seasonings
  • 3 small ripe pears (preferably Comice), peeled, seeded, diced
  • 1 cup dried cherries or cranberries
  • ½ cup pecan pieces (honeyed pecans can also be used)
  • sea salt, freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • chopped fresh thyme or parsley, for garnish

Makes 6 servings.


1. Combine the rice, water, salt, and butter in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring once. Cover with a tight fitting lid or aluminum foil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, still covered, and let sit 5–10 minutes, or until ready to use. Yields approx. 2¾ cups.

2. In a large nonstick frying pan or pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the sausage and cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon, until browned and cooked through, and totally crumbled. Transfer the sausage to a paper-towel-lined plate to absorb the excess fat.

3. Add the onion to the pan and, stirring often, sauté until onion is tender and translucent. Add the wine or vermouth, and cook until it evaporates, 1–2 minutes. Add the thyme and Italian seasonings, and continue cooking until herbs are fragrant, 3–4 minutes. Return the sausage to the pan; add the cherries, pears, and pecans. Stirring often, cook just until everything is heated through.

4. Fluff the rice with a fork, then add to the onion/pear mixture, stirring until well combined. Season with salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more herbs, salt, or pepper as desired. Pour into a serving dish, garnish with chopped fresh thyme or parsley.

Adapted from Fine Cooking magazine

Barbara Walch

Barbara Walch joined the staff of Plano Profile in August 1986 and currently serves as Food Editor and Associate Publisher, Community Relations. In addition to writing Dining In, a monthly food feature,...