Pecan, Squash and Cranberries Speckled Wild Rice

I stumbled upon this recipe one afternoon, by chance. Basmati rice, leftover cranberry-pecan topping from breakfast oatmeal, and some odd vegetables lying in the fridge were thrown together in a skillet. I served it over acorn squash baked in its shell. We absolutely loved the lunch, which was very filling, but took little time to fix. Next time around, I tweaked the recipe a bit. Wild rice mix was used instead of Basmati; the squash was cubed, roasted and added to the mix. I took this to our friend’s place for Thanksgiving dinner and got rave reviews. Best compliment was from their two year old. She just couldn’t get enough of it.

Pecan, Squash and Cranberries Speckled Wild Rice
(serves 2)

Ingredients

Wild rice mix – 1 cup
1 small butternut or acorn squash, peeled and cubed – about 2 cups
Pecan halves – 2/3 cup
Onion or shallot – ½ cup, chopped
Garlic – 1 clove, finely chopped
Carrot – 2, small, sliced at an angle
Celery – 1 or 2 stalks, chopped
Fresh thyme – 1 tbsp, chopped
Dried cranberries – ½ cup
Red pepper flakes – a pinch
Butter and/or oil – 1 tbsp
Salt
Pepper

Method

Cook wild rice either on stovetop or using a pressure cooker. If using a pressure cooker, use 1¼ cups water and cook for 2 whistles. If cooking on stove top, use 2¼ cups of water and cook covered for 45-50 minutes. The rice should be cooked, but firm.

Cook squash by any of the following methods. Steam for 15 minutes. Or boil in water for 10 minutes. You can also roast the squash in a 450F for 20-25 minutes. Roasting is my favourite, as it gives the squash a deeper flavor due to caramelization. It is also the most time consuming method. For convenience, you can roast the squash 2 or 3 days ahead, refrigerate and use when needed.

Meanwhile heat a large, wide skillet over low-medium heat. Gently toast the pecan halves until aromatic. Keep a close watch on the nuts. They go from lightly toasted to burnt in less than a minute. Transfer nuts to the board, cool, chop and reserve.

Crank the flame to medium-high, heat butter and/or oil, and sauté onions and garlic until soft. Add celery, carrot and red pepper flakes, and stir-fry briskly for a couple of minutes. Then add cooked rice, squash, thyme, cranberries and pecans. Season to taste, toss to combine. This rice tastes great whether served warm or at room temperature. I have also noticed that the flavour develops as it sits. So make this ahead, and serve slightly warmed.

This is my entry to Monthly Mingle – Healthy Family Dinners hosted by Michelle of What's Cooking Blog. MM is Meeta's brainchild.

I am pleased to announce that The Daily Tiffin has been nominated for Annual Food Blog awards by The Well Fed Network under Best Food Blog – Group category. We are, expectantly, very excited with the nomination. The DT team brings informative articles on family, kids, health, fitness, etc., month after month. If you have enjoyed your visits there, please help us win by casting your vote here.

25 comments:

Raaga said...

It is always nice when things you throw in together end up in a healthy, tasty and easy meal!

Shreya said...

What a wholesome meal! Love the colours and flavours. Such an apt entry to the event too.

Vij said...

Healthy yummy meal!

Elra said...

Delicious and healthy!
Cheers,
Elra

MeetaK said...

if you were to give this to me I would not be able to get enough of it either!

janelle said...

I LOVE LOVE LOVE it when kids adore healthy, care-ingly prepared food:).

Looks delicious.

Madhu said...

Very contrast of flavours and textures.Bowl full of goodness..

SMN said...

suganya wholesome healthy meal. but i didnt get what do u mean by wild rice

Cilantro said...

Sometimes, instead of the routine the experiments do end up becoming favorites and it is a great joy when a child compliments. Looking from your recipe, I think you can throw up all the favorite vegies I guess.

Superchef said...

isnt it wonderful when you just throw some things in together and they form a wonderful dish...interesting combination, by the way :)

bee said...

i was so thrilled to find cubed butternut squash at costco. this looks wonderful.

Suganya said...

Thank you all of you for leaving your lovely comments.

SMN, By wild rice mix I meant a medley of rices available in stores like such - http://tastypalettes.blogspot.com/2007/07/wild-rice-pulao.html

Depending on the brand, they consist of wild rice, brown rice, red rice, arborio or any short grain rice, among many others.

Varsha Vipins said...

Wat a lovely pic..tells how tasty the dish is..:)

Soma said...

Now thats my kinda food. Excellent combination. Oh my I wish I could have this right now. gorgeous colors too. Soon in the "to make" list. Thanks Suganya!

Sabina said...

This sounds amazing and healthy!!

Kevin said...

Nice looking wild rice salad!

Rathna said...

Hi Suganya,
Lovely recipe. Curious to find out the tasteof this dish. Never tried wild rice, coz I'm scared of it's shape and color and always wonder how it would taste. It is long and black in color right ?

Hey, I've started an event " Made for Each Other " at Asvadha. Please participate if you are interested. By participating for two events at your blog, you are definetly my inspiration :-)

A_and_N said...

Interesting recipe. A loves squash. Mebbe one of these days, I could do this for him!

sunita said...

What a gorgeous looking plate of food :-)

A kitchen scientist & a white rat hubby!!! said...

hi Suganya...the dish luks yummm..belated happy new yr regards to you!!!

Sharon said...

Oh my gosh, that looks amazing!

Lauren said...

Made this a couple weeks ago and it barely survived 2 days! It was delicious - one question though: When I cubed my squash and roasted it the cubes came out a little dry... almost like when i make squash fries. Yours look a bit softer? Maybe I cooked them too long, or more oil needed? Thanks for a great recipe!!!!!

Michelle said...

Thank you for your entry to the Monthly Mingle. I thought the recipe sounded delicious. But when I saw your beautiful photograph, it sealed the deal! I WILL be making this for my family. Thanks!!

Suganya said...

Lauren, thank you for trying out this recipe. It sounds the squash had been overcooked. I would try lowering the temperature and checking on it after 20 minutes. Different oven have different temperatures. Let me know if that was helpful.

Money Funk said...

I made this recipe last night with roasted squash. You're right - the flavors meld wonderfully the next day (eating it cold for breakfast right now. yummy).

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