Birthday Butternut Squash for Mom
November 17, 2005
Today is my mum's _th birthday. My mom taught me all I know about cooking. In light of the fact that I have failed as a baker, I cannot purport to bake a cake and call it my own. I can however, dedicate this fall dish in honor of my mother's birthday. Feliz cumpleanos Mama.
Looking through the Jaime Oliver cookbook, I ran across a delicious idea for supper: stuffed and baked butternut squash. I have altered the recipe to adjust to what was in my pantry and fridge. Be sure to give yourself time to prepare and cook this - it takes about 2 hours total from prep to plate.
You will need: 2 small butternut squashes (if using one large one, cooking time is slightly longer but everything else is the same), olive oil, 1 cup of wild rice (the partly cooked kind, preferably a blend), 1/4 minced white onion, 2 cloves of garlic, rosemary (optional, you can substitute flat leafed Italian parsley), coriander (this is dried cilantro), 1/4 c walnuts or pine nuts (if using pine nuts, go with the fresh rosemary instead of parsley), 1/2 c of diced mushrooms (button or oyster, porcini are best).
Cookware: 1 cookie sheet, foil, saute pan, bowl for rice.
Step One: Take that one cup of wild rice blend (I use the Royal Blend brand from Wild Oats, also sold at King Soopers) and place it in a bowl with 1/2 cup of warm water. Set this aside.
Step Two: Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
Step Three: Wash and pat dry your squash. Cut off the stem, and then cut the squash in half long ways. Scrape out the flesh of the squash and save all of the discarded seeds and pulp.
Step Four: In your pan, saute the discarded seeds and pulp with 3 tbsp of olive oil, onion, garlic, and mushrooms. (if you are using porcini mushrooms, they are usually dried so you should rehydrate according to the directions on the packet) Add 2 sprigs of fresh chopped rosemary or parsley, 1 tsp of coriander, and chopped nuts. Saute for another 3 minutes. Add the wild rice that has been hydrating in the bowl and cook for another 3 minutes.
Step Five: Take the pulp and rice mixture and scoop into the squash cavities. Put the squash halves together, rub the whole squash with olive oil, and wrap it in the foil tightly. Place this on a cookie sheet and cook at 400 degrees for 1 hour. Remove and let cool a little before unwrapping and serving.
This dish goes very well with a side of fresh baked bread (courtesy of the flatmate), and a light green salad. You can serve each person one half or less and you may choose to eat the squash skin and all, or discard the skin and eat only the squash flesh and stuffing.