Wild rice with butternut squash and dried cherries is a delicious dish that brings the flavors of fall to life. This recipe combines wild rice’s earthy nuttiness with butternut squash’s creamy texture and the cherries’ bright sweetness.
Try and use hand-harvested wild rice, when you’re making this recipe, which tastes better and is more respectful of the cultural traditions surrounding this ingredient. Hand-harvested wild rice can cost a little more but is worth it.
Cooking Wild Rice
A couple of tips for this recipe are to make sure to thoroughly wash the wild rice in cold water before cooking and to regularly stir when you’re bringing everything together. Regularly stirring will keep the squash from sticking to the pan.
This is a recipe I love to make in the fall when the colors in the dish seem to be reflecting the leaves turning colors outside.
It’s also the time of year when it’s easiest to cook with locally grown ingredients and the time when wild rice and squash are at their peak.
With its delicious flavors and fantastic presentation, this is the type of recipe that could easily become a Thanksgiving or Christmas tradition.
There is enough going on with this wild rice recipe that it can be served as a side dish or as the main course for a vegetarian dinner.
- 1 medium butternut squash
- 1 1/2 cups wild rice
- 2 cups dried cherries
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 2 tbsp butter
- Start by rinsing the wild rice under cold water until the water runs clear.
- In a large pot bring 6 cups of water and the wild rice to a boil, cover, turn the heat down to a simmer, and cook for 40 minutes.
- Cut the butternut squash in half, remove the seeds, and rub it lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast the squash, cut side down, in a 350ºF oven for 35 to 45 minutes. The squash should be cooked through, but not so soft that it falls apart.
- Once the wild rice has finished cooking, drain the remaining water, and set it aside. It should still have a bit of chew to it.
- When the squash is finished, remove the skin, and cut the squash up into bite-sized pieces.
- Using a large pan, sauté the squash in butter for a couple of minutes. Add in the wild rice, cherries, 1 tsp of salt, and 1/2 tsp of pepper and continue to cook everything for another 5 to 7 minutes. Making sure to stir regularly to prevent sticking and to mix everything together.