This is a very festive, yet simple and easy dish. Roasted delicata squash are filled with wild rice studded with dried cranberries, shallots, celery and toasted pecans. Serve this anytime in the fall or winter. It’s simple and easy enough to make on a weeknight for your family, but special and pretty enough to serve for holiday celebrations like Thanksgiving or Christmas. I love it as the centerpiece of a winter vegetable plate or with some Simple Tofu with Tamari and Basil and some lightly boiled kale drizzled with just a few drops of Ume Plum Vinegar.
This recipe is made with seasonal whole food ingredients – delicata squash, a brown and wild rice blend cooked in Imagine Foods Organic No-Chicken Broth, celery, shallots, pecans and parsley.
After preheating the oven and putting on the rice on to cook in the broth, cut the squash in half lengthwise with a sharp chef’s knife and scrape out the seeds with a spoon. Place cut side down on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet and bake for about 25 minutes or until tender.
Meanwhile, toast the pecans in the preheated oven for about 8 minutes or until the color deepens and the nutty fragrance is enhanced.
Saute the chopped celery and shallot in a small skillet (preferably non-stick) until tender. No oil is needed. Just add a couple tablespoons of water while cooking to prevent sticking.
Here is the rice cooked in the broth on the stovetop. Be sure to fluff with a fork to keep the grains intact. Avoid stirring too vigorously, as that can break up the tender grains and make the rice mushy.
Delicata squash just out of the oven. Nice and tender. In a large bowl, gently stir together cooked rice, cooked celery and shallots, half of the chopped parsley and the dried cranberries. Flip over cooked squash and fill with rice mixture. Sprinkle filled squash with remaining chopped parsley and chopped, toasted pecans and serve.
- 2 cups Imagine Foods No-Chicken Broth (or vegetable broth plus 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning)
- 1 cup wild rice blend (I use Lundberg farms brand; if you can’t find a blend, use ½ wild rice and half long-grain brown rice)
- 2-3 medium delicata squash
- 1 medium shallot, minced
- 2 ribs celery, diced
- ½ cup dried, sweetened cranberries
- ⅓ cup shelled pecans
- ¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- Bring broth to a boil. Add rice, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 45-50 minutes. Alternately, make rice in a rice cooker following manufacturer’s instructions.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out seeds and stringy stuff. Place face down on parchment lined baking sheet for 25 minutes until tender when poked with a fork.
- Toast pecans. Bake in an oven preheated to 400 degrees for 7-8 minutes. Remove, cool and chop.
- Sauté shallot and celery with 2 tablespoons water in a small non-stick pan over medium heat until soft and slightly golden. Add a bit more water as necessary, allowing the vegetables to brown just slightly.
- When rice is done, dump into a large mixing bowl. Fluff rice gently with a fork, adding celery and shallot mixture, cranberries and half of parsley.
- Fill squash boats with rice mixture and top with remaining chopped parsley and chopped pecans and serve.
Nutrition Facts: Winter squash is one of the best food sources of lutein, zeanxanthin and beta-cryptoxanthin, three carotenoids, which are one class of antioxidant. These powerful antioxidants are converted in the body to vitamin A, strengthening our eyesight and immune function and reducing the risk of macular degeneration[i] and rheumatoid arthritis[ii].
Recipe by Emily Honeycutt, 2016. © All Rights Reserved. www.emilyhoneycutt.com
[i] Emily Y. Chew, MD, Secondary Analyses of the Effects of Lutein/Zeaxanthin on Age-Related Macular Degeneration Progression AREDS2 Report No. 3, The Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2 (AREDS2) Research Group, JAMA Ophthalmol. 2014;132(2):142-149. doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2013.7376
[ii] Dorothy J Pattison, Deborah PM Symmons, Mark Lunt, Ailsa Welch, Sheila A Bingham, Nicholas E Day, and Alan J Silman, Dietary β-cryptoxanthin and inflammatory polyarthritis: results from a population-based prospective study1,2,3, Am J Clin Nutr August 2005 vol. 82 no. 2 451-455.