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Wild Rice Pilaf with Butternut Squash, Cranberries and Pecans
1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into small cubes
2 cups wild rice, rinsed
6 cups vegetable stock (or half water, half stock)
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup dried cranberries
¼ cup warm water
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3/4 cup toasted pecans, chopped
3 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Zest of 1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom (optional but good!)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat oven to 400 degrees.
Toss the butternut squash with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spread the squash on two baking sheets. Roast until tender and starting to brown, about 20 minutes (check earlier if your pieces are very small).
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a medium skillet. Sauté the onion and garlic for 3-4 minutes.
Place the dried cranberries in a bowl with the warm water and vinegar. Let sit for 10 minutes, then drain.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the remaining olive oil, lemon zest, cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, orange juice, lemon juice and fresh ginger.
Place the wild rice and stock in a medium saucepan. Heat to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 40 minutes, or until some of the grains start to split. The rice should still be quite chewy. Drain thoroughly and place in a large bowl.
Add the onions and garlic, cranberries, parsley, pecans and dressing to the wild rice and stir. Gently mix in the roasted squash. Serve warm if possible, or at room temperature.
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