This month’s Recipe Redux theme is “Orange You Glad It’s Fall?”. Markets are plentiful with the orange colors of autumn including pumpkin, carrots, squash, sweet potatoes and even golden beets. Not only are these bursting with fall flavors but they are also chock-full of carotenoid antioxidants. The challenge was to create and share a favorite orange antioxidant-filled dish.
I have to say that I almost didn’t represent.
I immediately thought of pumpkin. Of course, if you regularly browse through all the food blogs in the blogosphere you know we are being absolutely inundated with pumpkin this week/month/season. That’s not necessarily a bad thing – I love pumpkin! – but I mostly love the sugary, fattening, pumpkin rolls and cakes that are dripping with cream cheese frosting. I outgrow my jeans just looking at that stuff.
I tried to lighten up a creamy, cheesy, pumpkin cake but it really wasn’t redux worthy. It was OK but it left me wanting for the real thing.
Then, coincidentally, I made this wild rice with roasted butternut squash for dinner. I wasn’t even thinking of the redux but, of course, I reduxed the recipe I found because that’s what I do. It was so surprisingly good. I mean, I thought it would make a good accompaniment for dinner but it was really, REALLY good.
[Sidebar] Squash gets a bad rap. It’s so sweet and delicious yet I can’t get my kids to take a single bite without fake gagging. Interesting how they will eat pumpkin and sweet potatoes which are, like, almost the same thing! My husband thinks it’s because squash is a bad name for food. Maybe they should rename it, like they did with Orange Roughy which is actually called a Slimehead. Not many people were ordering Slimehead before the re-brand now were they? [End Sidebar]
This recipe may seem like it has a lot of steps for a side dish but it’s worth the effort. All the roasting and sauteing is what gives the flavor depth. It makes quite a bit, probably 8-10 servings depending on the portion size, but that’s great because you can take leftovers for a healthy and hearty lunch the next day.
Is it too early to talk Thanksgiving? If you’re looking for something a little less traditional to serve this year I think this would make a welcome addition to the Thanksgiving table. (And don’t forget to check out all the other great orange recipes linked below!).
- 1¼ cups wild rice
- kosher salt
- 1 small butternut squash (about 2 pounds) cut into bite size chunks
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- ½ red onion, diced
- 1 cup frozen corn kernels
- ¾ cup chicken or vegetable broth
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Prepare wild rice according to package directions, however remove from heat about 5 minutes before it is done. Rice should be a little bit chewy/al dente but not hard. Drain excess water and set rice aside.
- In a bowl, mix together the squash pieces with the olive oil until well coated. Spread into a single layer on a baking sheet and sprinkle with kosher salt.
- Roast squash pieces, turning once halfway through, until just tender and lightly brown. About 20 minutes depending on the size of the pieces.
- Melt butter in a large pot and saute red onion until softened.
- Add broth and corn the the onions and bring to a simmer. Allow to simmer for about 7-8 minutes.
- Add rice and squash to the onions and corn. Stir gently until ingredients are combined. Cover the pot, remove from heat and allow to sit for a couple of minutes, season with salt and pepper and serve.
Adapted from Bon Appetit.