Wild Rice Stuffed Delicata Squash

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Over the last couple days the seasonal color palette has changed from the earth tones of fall to the reds, greens, silvers and whites of Christmas. The front stoop décor of pumpkins and corn stalks has been compost and replaced with dogwood branches and pine boughs. The tree is up, the stockings placed, and we’ve turned the switch from autumn to winter. There’s even snow in the forecast this week, right on cue.
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Fall was bid goodbye in fine fashion though, with several Thanksgiving parties filled with family, fun and food, as all holidays should be! We had two dinners Thanksgiving day—one early afternoon at Pete’s brother’s with the Schneider’s and again that evening at our house with my parents. My evening menu came together somewhat on the fly, but turned out great! I had two delicata squash sitting on the counter and had just purchased some Minnesota wild rice and figured the two would go together nicely.
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The skin of delicata squash is thin and totally edible, so you don’t have peel it or scoop the squash from the skin when eating–nice! The seeds are smaller than those in pumpkins, butternuts or acorn squash, but they are still delicious roasted. After scooping them from the squash, clean them up and toss with a tiny bit of olive oil and a sprinkling of salt. Roast, spread out on a cookie sheet, at the same time as the squash and give a stir now and then. Unlike the larger seeds I’ve roasted, these little seeds start popping when they’re done and can end up all over the bottom of your oven, so pull them out once you hear that happening, which will be after about 20 minutes.
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A salad and a hearty homemade bread rounded out our meal, with a rustic apple-pear galette and vanilla bean ice-cream topping things off.
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Wild Rice Stuffed Delicata Squash

1 cup uncooked wild rice, rinsed well
4 cups vegetable broth or water
2 medium delicata squash
Sea or Kosher salt
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 large clove garlic, minced
½ large yellow onion, chopped
A couple handfuls dried cranberries
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
A handful of chopped pistachios
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Placed rinsed wild rice in a large saucepan and add broth. Bring to a boil, boil one minute, then reduce heat, cover and simmer about 45 minutes, until rice is tender. Drain and return to saucepan.

Meanwhile, cut each squash in half lengthwise and remove seeds (roast seeds with a little extra-virgin olive oil and salt—delicious!). Rub or brush each squash half all over with olive oil and sprinkle the inside with a little salt. Roast, cut side up, for about 30 minutes, until tender. Remove from oven.

Heat 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil over medium heat in skillet until warm. Add minced garlic and stir for one minute. Add onions. Stir occasionally, for 5-7 minutes, until translucent, sprinkle with salt. Add onion and garlic to cooked, drained wild rice, along with dried cranberries. Add freshly ground black pepper, to taste and give a final stir.

Stuffed squash halves with wild rice mixture, really pack it in and mound as much as you can. You’ll probably have some rice remaining. Bake stuffed squash halves for about 15 minutes. Sprinkle with pistachios during the last couple minutes of baking. Slice each squash half in half or thirds and serve. Enjoy! Serves 6.

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