This colorful rice casserole blends ingredients from across the Midwest--wild rice from Minnesota, dried cherries from Michigan, and cooking savvy from a native Wisconsinite, Amy H.
Prepare the wild rice according to the package directions. While the rice cooks, slice the onions thinly and sauté them in the olive oil over low heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until very soft.
Using a vegetable peeler, remove the zest from the orange in 1 1/2- to 2-inch strips. Slice the strips as thinly as possible, then blanch the zest in boiling water for 1 minute. (Alternatively, when you cook the orzo, add the zest a minute before it's done.)
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Meanwhile, cook the orzo on the stove top according to the package directions. Drain the cooked orzo and combine it with the wild rice, onions, orange zest, cherries, and peas in a 13- by 9-inch baking dish. Season with salt and pepper, then cover and bake for 20 minutes. Garnish with the parsley and almonds. Makes 10 cups.