I’m out in Saskatoon this week for a conference, where the land is flat and the weather is surprisingly fall perfection. I gave my presentation on Day 1, so now I can sit back and relax a little, take in the other sessions and sneak out for a few minutes here and there to walk down to the Saskatchewan River, where the sun is warm and the trails are littered with crunchy leaves.
In between presentations I wanted to share this recipe that I made last weekend. In this dish, a simple rice pilaf is jazzed up with sweet dried cranberries and tender cubes of roasted butternut squash.
After getting home from France, I noticed we had a single butternut squash hiding in the cupboard, leftover from the butternut squash soup that we served for our Sugar-Free Thanksgiving. I also spotted the dried cranberries that I’d hidden away last month, so together they went into this Cranberry Rice Pilaf with Roasted Garlic Butternut Squash.
I roasted the garlic right inside the cavity of the overturned halved squash, which infused the squash with a subtle garlic flavour and resulted in buttery soft garlic that I then mashed into the rice. Cubed butternut squash is mixed with wild rice, cranberries, onion and pepper, and served in mini pumpkins just for extra seasonal cuteness. How great would this look on a Thanksgiving table though, right?
- 1 butternut squash
- 2-4 cloves garlic
- 1 cup wild rice
- 3 cups turkey stock (recipe: http://homeatsix.com/2014/09/thanksgiving-menu/)
- ½ cup chopped green pepper
- ¼ cup chopped onion
- ¼ cup dried cranberries
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary (~2-3 tsp dried), finely chopped
- 1 tbs olive oil
- coarse sea salt and ground pepper
- Pre-heat oven to 400F
- Heat oil over medium heat in a medium sauce pan, add pepper and onion and cook until tender, stirring occasionally (3-5 minutes)
- Add rice and cook for 2 minutes
- Add stock, and bring to a boil
- Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 40-45 minutes, until most of the water is absorbed and rice is tender
- Meanwhile, cut butternut squash in half lengthwise, remove seeds, brush with oil and sprinkle with 1 tsp rosemary
- Place squash flesh side down on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet
- Tuck peeled garlic cloves underneath squash in cavities
- Roast at 400F for 25-30 minutes, until fork tender
- Remove from oven and allow to cool until skin can be safely peeled
- Chop squash into 1 inch cubes, stir into rice along with cranberries, mashed garlic and remaining rosemary
- Season with salt and pepper, to taste