one pan roasted autumn wild rice with squash

Nothing is organized for dinner tonight. Although we could have breakfast for dinner – bacon, eggs and maybe pancakes too. I’m still craving eggs from what was to be my breakfast very early today. At five this morning I cooked two eggs, had one bite of their buttery goodness, put the plate on the bed while I fetched my reading glasses and Finn, my little Mexican hairless dog jumped up on the bed and landed right in the middle of the plate of eggs. I freaked, he freaked and he ran across the lovely white quilt with his little eggy paws. It wasn’t his fault but I have had more auspicious starts to my day. I don’t usually have a plate of lovely, sunny-side up eggs on our bed but I’d intended to sit on the bed and eat them and chat to my husband as he got ready for work. Didn’t happen, instead Finn and Mango, my other hairless puppy, ate them for their post breakfast snack. I had a little bunch of non-satisfying grapes. Needless to say I’m still wanting a perfectly cooked egg or two before day’s end – breakfast for dinner seems like a marvelous idea right now.

Yesterday I made this very fall-like one pan recipe. Honestly, I struggled with the title. I know it’s called “fall” in North America but “autumn” sounds much more whimsical and romantic. Not that the recipe is at all romantic – there’s absolutely nothing romantic about Brussels sprouts (they’re in the recipe) but put ‘autumn’ in the title of anything and it just has a nice ring to it don’t you think? Whatever the title the recipe is delicious in its simplicity and ease.

one pan autumn wild rice and roasted squash

one pan autumn wild rice and roasted squash

This recipe came together in a snap but I keep cooked wild rice on-hand in the freezer most of the time so that was a HUGE time saver. If you know you’re going to make this then I would suggest cooking the rice ahead of time. I don’t follow the directions on the wild rice package either. First you want to rinse it in a sieve under cold water.

uncooked wild rice

uncooked wild rice

Then you want to cook it for 20 minutes in salted simmering water. Drain it and cook it again in salted, simmering water for another  25 minutes or until the grain/seed has popped open. Drain it again and rinse it under cold water. Drain it thoroughly and then measure it into small resealable bags. I usually cook about three pounds at once in a big stock pot. You only need four cups of cooked wild rice for this recipe.

cooked wild rice

cooked wild rice

Once the rice is cooked, prep and roasting time is about 40 minutes give or take. The squash are perfect at this time of year. And do you know what makes a wonderful pairing with squash?? Yes, you guessed it – bacon! For those dieting – myself included, you might want to cook the bacon first and toss it through at the end but I wanted the convenience of one pan so I mixed it in with the squash. Surprisingly it doesn’t seem fatty. Not even when it’s been chilled. I know this because I just shoveled two big spoonfuls in my mouth of the leftovers from last night which are supposed to be my husband’s lunch for tomorrow. What can I say, it’s 12 hours since the egg fiasco and I’m hungry!

butternut squash in all her splendid seasonal glory

butternut squash in all her splendid seasonal glory

Towards the end of the cooking time I threw in chopped apple and sliced Brussels sprouts. DO NOT make a face. Brussels sprouts when cooked properly are delicious. Most people cook the life out of them leaving stinky, olive green, squishy globes – most unappetizing. Roasted in a hot oven and tossed with bacon and some sweetness, this much shunned veggie is transformed. Try it first with the Brussels sprouts. If you don’t like them, heaven forbid, then just pick them out.

Brussels sprouts

Brussels sprouts

You’ll see some juices in the pan from the onion and the apples. Once you toss in the cooked wild rice, all that will be soaked up by the rice so fear not. And you’re left with a pan of something that can either be inhaled as a main meal or offered as a side dish at Thanksgiving or Christmas. I thought some dried cranberries would be pretty fabulous in this too but I didn’t have any. I suggest you add some though, about 1/2 cup would work. Their lovely tartness would offset the sweetness.

cooked pan of wild rice and squash

cooked pan of wild rice and squash

Et voila! Enjoy! Whether you’re a fall or an autumn person, I promise this recipe won’t disappoint.

one pan roasted autumn wild rice and squash

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 lbs (1kg) butternut squash (pumpkin), peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 6 slices bacon, diced
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 8 oz (250g) Brussels sprouts, sliced
  • 2 apples, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
  • 4 cups cooked wild rice

Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).

Combine oil, squash, rosemary, salt, pepper and nutmeg on a large baking sheet. Add bacon and onion, toss to combine. Cook for 25 minutes, stirring once or twice during cooking.

Add, Brussels sprouts, apples, butter and honey; toss to combine. Cook 10 minutes or until Brussels sprouts are tender-crisp and bright green.

Carefully stir in wild rice. Cook for 5 minutes or until  wild rice is hot. Serves 4 to 5 as a main or 8 to 10 as a side.

 

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