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Monday, December 6, 2010

Wild Rice and Butternut Squash Salad

I never really ate wild rice until after we moved to Minnesota.  I'd always been more of a brown rice person and there aren't a lot of restaurants out east that offer wild rice on their menu.  But, after moving up here, I began noticing wild rice salads featured in grocery stores and started to make it more frequently.  This past Thanksgiving, I was drawn to the deli section each time I visited the store.  I kept checking out their wild rice salads with butternut squash and cranberries.  I bought one, realized I should make my own, and la!!  Here we go.  This recipe tasted exactly like the one I bought at the store, if not better.  It makes about 4-6 servings and would be a delicious side with a holiday meal!  Or, you could just eat it in a bowl like I did for 3 days straight.

Wild Rice and Butternut Squash Salad
from here
  • 1 cup Wild Rice mix
  • 2 cups cubed butternut squash
  • 2/3 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1/2 cup white onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 carrot, sliced thin
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced thin
  • 1 Tbsp fresh thyme
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • salt and pepper
  1. Steps 2 and 3 take about the same amount of time to complete, so prepare them at the same time.
  2. Heat oven 400 degrees.  Place cubed butternut squash on a sheet pan.  Roast for 30-35 minutes.
  3. Cook the wild rice according to package directions.  Or, add 2 cups of water and a dash of oil.  Bring to a boil.  Turn heat down to medium-low, cover, and simmer until water has been absorbed, about 45-50 minutes.
  4. After rice and squash have cooked, heat a wide skillet on medium-low.  Gently toast pecans until aromatic, but watch carefully so they don't burn.  This should take about 1 minute.  Transfer nuts to a plate and reserve.
  5. Turn heat up to medium-high, add oil, and saute the onions and garlic until soft.  Add celery, carrot, and red pepper flakes and stir-fry for about 3 minutes.  Then, remove from heat and add cooked rice, squash, thyme, cranberries and pecans.
  6. Add salt and pepper, toss to combine, and enjoy!

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