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)IngredientsWild 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
PepperMethodCook 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.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.