Saturday, October 24, 2009

Squash-Apple Improv

Liz told us she had in mind a dish of squash and apples, topped with walnuts and cheese, then left us alone in the kitchen. This is what we came up with.

(Turns out she actually meant zucchini when she said "squash," but we didn't hear any complaints.)

Squash and Apples with Wild Rice

1 large butternut squash, peeled and cubed (reserve seeds)
2 medium apples, cored and cubed
1 large onion, chopped
Baby spinach (or other greens), chopped

Cider-Butter Sauce
1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) butter
1 cup apple cider
1/2 cup cooking wine

Toss the squash seeds with a little oil and salt and toast in the oven or under the broiler. Set aside.

Roast the squash in the oven until nearly completely cooked. Add the apples near the end of the cooking time and roast until slightly softened.

Meanwhile, make the sauce. Melt the butter in a small saucepan, add the cider and wine, bring to a boil, and season with sage and allspice. Remove from heat.

Saute the onion in a large pan until transparent. Add the roasted squash and apples and the spinach, pour the sauce over, and cook just until the spinach is wilted and the mixture is warm through. Stir in the toasted squash seeds. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve over wild rice and add garnishes.

Wild Rice
Prepare wild rice according to the package directions. Or, if you are us, realize that you have tiny bits of three kinds of wild and brown rice that, made together, will be almost enough rice. We added salt and a splash of apple cider for flavor.

Walnuts: Toss about 1 cup walnut halves with maple syrup and coarse salt and toast in the oven or under the broiler. Chop up about half the walnuts and stir into the squash mixture; use the rest whole for garnish.

Goat cheese: Top bowls of squash and wild rice with a spoonful of goat cheese.

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