Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Winter Squash, Garnet Yam, and Wild Rice Medley

Perfect for a cold and rainy autumn or winter night, this dish will fill you up faster than you would think. And it’s pretty to look at!


1 butternut or acorn squash
1 garnet yam (or sweet potato) or equivalent of about 2 cups of cut yams
½ c. uncooked wild rice
3 tbsp. olive oil (or more if needed)
1 crushed clove of garlic (optional)
½ chopped red pepper (optional)
1/3 c. dried cranberries
3 tbsp. chopped chives
Salt and pepper to taste


Cook the rice. It will take about 45-50 minutes so get it started before cooking the squash and yam.

The hard part about this recipe is that you have to peel an uncooked squash! It takes time and patience. The butternut is the easier to peel as you can use a vegetable scraper to get the skin off with relative ease. The acorn squash is a little more difficult to peel because of the ridges. After you have peeled the squash, cut it in half and remove the seeds and strings. Then chop or slice it into bite-sized pieces. (You can even do this recipe with a pumpkin, but who wants to peel a raw pumpkin?)

I like to leave the skin on my garnet yams, but some people find it too tough for their tastes. If you wish, scrape the skin off. Then slice the yam into rounds no wider than ¼ inch thick and cut the rounds into halves or even quarters. If you want to use the garlic and/or red pepper, then crush the garlic and chop the red pepper. The red pepper makes the dish more colorful.

Sauté the squash and yam in olive oil in a large frying pan (uncovered) over medium high heat turning frequently to prevent burning. It will take quite awhile for the squash and yam to get soft. Keep adding olive oil if necessary. Expect to be keeping a close eye on the squash and yam and stirring often for 15-20 minutes. After about the first 10 minutes, add the red pepper and crushed garlic clove.

When the rice is done, add it to the cooked squash and yam. Add the dried cranberries and chopped chives and blend everything together well. You may want to add a little more olive oil to the dish to moisten it (maybe another tablespoon).

A nice addition to this dish is crumbled feta cheese (if you eat dairy).

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