Christmas Day lunch is an integral part of the festive celebration. For many Christians, it is a time to come together and share a meal with family and friends. Cooking Christmas lunch is one thing; deciding on the menu is quite another. For most meat-eaters, choosing what to include in their Christmas Day menu is a simple job that requires hardly time. This typically consists of your favourite festive bird, plenty of roast potatoes, Brussels sprouts and a jar or two of cranberry sauce.
But for vegetarians, Christmas cooking is not always so simple. Butternut squash stuffed with wild rice, feta cheese, currents and toasted walnuts would make a delicious dish for Christmas Day lunch.
To Make Butternut Squash Dish, You Will Need the Following Ingredients:
- 2 medium-sized butternut squash,
- 2 garlic cloves – crushed
- 1 teaspoon of fresh thyme
- 6 tablespoons of olive oil
- 2 tablespoons of white wine
- 250g of wild rice
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 cardamom pod
- 2 star anise
- 1 red onion – finely chopped
- 1 small leek – spliced
- 80g of currants
- 120g of feta cheese – crumbled
- 1 bunch of fresh mint – chopped
- 1 bunch of fresh parsley – chopped
- 1 lemon – juiced
- 2 cups of apple juice
- Salt and pepper
Making Your Butternut Squash Stuffed With Wild Rice, Feta Cheese, Currents and Toasted Walnuts
Prepare the Butternut Squash
Preheat the oven to 180c. Cut the butternut squash in half from top to bottom, peel and deseed it. Drizzle with the wine and half the olive oil before sprinkling with the crushed garlic and thyme, then season with salt and pepper.
Place the seasoned squash in a roasting dish, cover with foil and roast for 25 minutes in the oven. Remove the foil and continue to roast for an additional 10 minutes or until the vegetable is tender. In the meantime, soak the currants in apple juice for roughly half an hour.
Cook the Wild Rice
Crush the cardamom pod. In a sizable saucepan, boil the rice with the cinnamon stick, star anise (also known as badian) and cardamom in plenty of water until soft and fluffy. Drain and leave to cool.
Meanwhile, heat the remainder of the olive oil in a frying pan and slowly fry the onion and leek until the vegetables are soft. Leave to stand then add to the rice and mix together with the currants, toasted walnuts and the rest of the ingredients. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.
Fill the hollowed-out butternut squash with the rice mixture and return to the oven for 20 minutes. Serve with your favourite salad dish accompanied by your preferred aromatic festive spirit.