SAVOURY GOLDEN CHERRY RICE STIR FRY

Do not be fooled by this title.  Seriously, the title was in the hopes of capturing wee little ones taste buds, and fooling them at the same time. If I had asked my kids when they were little: "would you like some golden cherry rice stir fry"?  They would have been all over it...not knowing there was squash in this dish at all. Actually, as a parent, I was pretty lucky, my kids loved all food, they were not in the least bit fussy.  However, I know some parents struggle, so this is a great dish that hides all the wonderful yummy nutrients.
Each year, I try to come up with new Squash dishes, being the squash freak that I am, but honestly, this one is a winner - so dang good and healthy too!  We had this wonderful side dish with seared pork chops - a match made in heaven.  But, truly, this dish stands on it's own.  Delicious, hearty, and flavorful.
I had 1/2 of a large Butternut squash in the fridge, as well as a big batch of steamed rice.....what to do?  I decided to wing it - so glad I did, in fact, we might have this dish again tomorrow.  Aside from the sweet nutty flavor of butternut squash, and the sweet/tart dried cherries - there was a definite added dimension to this dish that was surprising.  I opted to use Dry rubbed Sage and Thyme with this dish...however, Curry seasonings would also be heavenly.
1 cup of mashed, roasted Butternut Squash
salt and pepper
3 Tblsp. Grape Seed Oil
25 dried Sweet/Tart dried Cherries, sliced in half
2 finely sliced green onions
2 minced shallots
6 diced crimini mushrooms
4 minced garlic cloves
1 1/2 tsp. dry rubbed Sage
1/2 tsp. dry Thyme
3/4 cup Chicken Stock
1 cup cooked Basmati Rice
1/2 cup chicken stock
Slice the butternut squash in half, skin on, and drizzle with Olive oil to coat.  Roast in a pre-heated oven at 350 degrees for about 1 hour, or until tender.  Remove to a platter and set aside.  Once cooled, mash with a fork to equal 1 cup.
Here is the minced cherries and veggies for this dish (minus the squash):
Heat up a non stick pan with the grape seed oil on low medium heat.  Add in the mushrooms, sauteing until golden.  Then add in the shallots, sauteing for about 3 more minutes.  Add in the garlic, green onions, cherries, and seasonings, sauteing another 2-3 minutes.
Then add in the mashed squash, and 3/4 cup of chicken stock, stirring to incorporate.  Check for seasonings, and bring to temperature - another 2 minutes.
Add 1 cup of cooked rice, with another 1/2 cup of Chicken stock, again check for seasonings.
Bring to a simmer, continue to stir until thickened, about a minute or two.  Serve hot, with any main dish or vegetarian dish.

Ina Gawne
author

8 comments on “SAVOURY GOLDEN CHERRY RICE STIR FRY”

  1. That looks so delightfully delicious, Ina! You're living up to your blog name for sure. 😉 I love all the step-by-step photos. I never get tired of seeing the beauty of real food coming together in a skillet. Does that make me crazy? Seriously, I think that sauted veggies and sauces being reduced, etc. are just the most beautiful things. 🙂
    Shirley

    1. Thanks so much Shirley! Your kind words have made my day. I love pictures of food, and especially fresh produce! One of the other reasons I take these photos is for my daughter, who is now cooking some great food! Happy Monday to you! 🙂

  2. Ina, this rice dish looks fabulous. I am SO making this very soon...minus the cherries! Are the cherries essential, or can they be omitted? I was thinking of using chopped walnuts instead...

    1. Thanks Erin. The cherries really added a sweet/tart flavor...walnuts would be wonderful, I wonder if lemon, apple or pear would give the sweet/tart taste? Or, dates and lemon? The base of this dish was really a sweet/tart flavor. Can't wait to see what you come up with! 🙂

  3. Hi Ina, I made this the other night and the kids loved it! I made it without cherries, did not compensate to make it tart. The girls *loved* it. I will be making this often!

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November 27, 2011
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