Oooh, this was downright yummy! I tried it the other evening, but didn't have wild rice on hand so I substituted quinoa instead. It was OK, but much better with the rice - the chewy rice complements the soft texture of the roasted squash. The wild rice blend adds more color, too (although I still don't understand why it's so expensive!). And, the caramelized edges of the squash is pretty! I still have some dried cherries on hand from last summer (compliments of my friend Elma's sour cherry tree!), and the garlic was grown in Silver Spring, so this truly is a local dish. :)
Source: adapted from Everyday Food, November 2006
Note: the recipe is for one acorn squash - multiply as needed.
1 acorn squash (1 1/2 lb.), halved lengthwise, seeds removed*
1 T. butter
1 small onion, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 t. dried sage
1/2 c. wild and brown rice blend
7/8 c. water
1/4 c. dried cherries
1/4 c. pecans, chopped
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Oil cut edges of squash with olive oil. On a rimmed baking sheet, arrange squash, cut side down. Roast until tender when pierced with the tip of a paring knife, about 30-40 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, heat butter over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and sage. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 3-5 minutes. Add rice and water; bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to low. Cook until tender, without stirring, about 35-40 minutes.
Remove rice from heat; stir in cherries and pecans. Season with salt and pepper. Season inside of each squash half with salt and pepper. Mound rice mixture into squash halves and serve.
*Note: Use a long serrated knife to easily halve the acorn squash neatly.
And, don't forget to roast the squash seeds! Here's the link.
I served the rice mixture as a pilaf for Christmas dinner today. I was a bit frazzled and didn't read the recipe correctly - I missed adding some of the seasonings, but it was still good!