This pilaf would be a wonderful addition to the Thanksgiving table. With wild rice, pumpkin and onions all sweetened with maple syrup, the dish is filled with flavors and ingredients that are distinctly American.
If sugar (small) pumpkins are unavailable, butternut squash can be substituted.
- 1 2- to 2 1/2- pound sugar or pie pumpkin, peeled, seeded and cut into 3/4- to 1-inch pieces to yield about 4 to 5 cups (1 pound)
- 1 medium onion, cut into 1/2- to 3/4-inch dice (about 1 1/2 cups)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons mild olive or vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup water
- 3 to 4 tablespoons maple syrup, preferably dark or Grade B
- 2 cups cooked wild rice
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Have ready a roasting pan large enough to comfortably hold all of the pumpkin pieces. Combine the pumpkin, onion, salt and pepper to taste and the oil in the pan, tossing to coat evenly. Add the water. Pour 2 tablespoons of the maple syrup over the pumpkin pieces. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the wild rice according to package directions to yield 2 cups cooked rice.
After the pumpkin has baked for 30 minutes, remove the foil and return the pan to the oven. Roast for about 30 minutes. (If the pumpkin is cooking unevenly, stir the pieces around after 15 minutes. Depending on the size of the pieces, total cooking time is about 60 minutes.)
When the pumpkin and onion mixture is tender and starting to brown, remove from the oven. Add the wild rice and 1 tablespoon of the remaining maple syrup, stirring to combine. Taste and add salt, pepper or maple syrup as needed. Serve hot.
From In Season columnist Stephanie Witt Sedgwick.
Tested by Stephanie Witt Sedgwick.
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