Don’t let the name wild rice fool you – you can certainly tame this delicious grain and use it to create dishes your family will love, such as wild rice with butternut squash and leeks!
Embracing a North American Grain Staple
Wild rice is actually a semi-acquatic grass, one of two commonly eaten grains that are native to North America.
The other is corn.
Most wild rice consumed in the US comes from Great Lakes region.
The Health Benefits of Wild Rice
Bring wild rice into your kitchen to make meals packed with nutrition.
With 6.5 grams of protein per cup, that extra protein is especially handy if you, or someone you cook for, maintains a vegetarian or vegan diet.
It’s also low in calories, low in fat, and other important vitamins and minerals.
It’s naturally gluten free and contains magnesium which is known to boost energy levels.
What’s not to like?
Your Family Will Love This Ancient Grain
Liven up mealtime and diversify your cooking repretoire with the taste and texture of wild rice.
It’s flavor profile is more nutty and earthy, it’s texture more chewy than either brown or white rice.
Overall, it’s a more interesting alternative.
Wild rice is easy to cook on the stovetop, but does require more time than rice.
Give this tasty grain a try with my wild rice with butternut squash and leeks recipe.
To serve this dish on a weeknight, prepare the wild rice and the butternut squash the night before or on the weekend.
On the evening you plan to serve the dish, warm the rice and the butternut squash while you saute the leeks.
Once assembled you’ll finish with the zest of one lemon, a tablespoon or two of lemon juice, and a drizzle of oilve oil.
It’s a visual contrast of colors and a palate pleasing combination of tastes.
Wild rice has fed people on this continent for centuries.
Include it in your menu and enjoy a food that’s filled up countless North American bellies.Print
- 8 oz wild rice
- 4 cups 1/2-inch cubes peeled butternut squash (from 11/2-pound squash)
- 3 cups finely chopped leeks (white part only)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon garlic, chopped
- zest of one lemon
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley for garnish
- olive oil
- kosher salt
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Prepare wild rice according to the package directions. Once it’s cooked, spread on a rimmed baking sheet to cool and then transfer to a bowl.
- Lightly oil a rimmed baking sheet with olive oil.
- Spread squash cubes in single layer on prepared sheet and lightly sprinkle kosher salt.
- Roast the squash cubes just until tender and firm enough to hold their shape when mixed with the rice, about 10 minutes and then allow to cool.
- Heat a large skillet over high heat.
- Once hot reduce the heat to medium and add 2 tablespoons of butter to the skillet.
- Once melted add the leeks and sauté until leeks are tender, about 5-7 minutes.
- Add garlic. Sauté 1-2 minutes more or until fragrant.
- In a large bowl gently combine the rice, butternut squash, and leeks.
- Stir in the lemon zest and and lemon juice.
- Taste and adjust the seasoning with kosher salt.
- Drizzle lightly with olive oil.
- Garnish with chopped parsley.