An easy, do-ahead casserole that is as perfect on the holiday table as it is served for a cozy weeknight dinner!
This dish is simple to prepare, yet develops lots of flavor by deploying a few easy (and hands-off!) techniques. Winter squash is roasted with herbs and vegetables, creating deeply flavorful and caramelized results with almost zero effort – the oven does all of the work!
More herbs are used to infuse heavy cream, which is then folded into the vegetables along with wild rice and parmesan cheese. Both the veggie-rice mixture and infused cream can be prepared up to 4 days in advance, making this a dream side dish for any occasion!
Winter Squash Casserole:
- 3 – 4 cups chopped winter squash – acorn, butternut or delicata squash
- 1 large onion, cut into thin wedges
- 3 sprigs fresh rosemary, divided
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup uncooked wild rice blend
- 1 3/4 cups vegetable broth
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, divided
Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the squash, onion, 2 rosemary sprigs, vinegar and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil on the sheet and toss to coat. Spread in a single layer and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 25 – 35 minutes or till squash is tender. Discard the rosemary and let cool for about 20 minutes. Reduce the oven to 375 degrees.
While the vegetables are roasting, cook the rice with the vegetable broth according to the package directions. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool for about 30 minutes (toss occasionally to prevent sticking).
Place the cream and remaining 2 sprigs of rosemary in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer, remove from heat and cover. Let stand for 15 minutes; discard the rosemary.
Add the vegetables and 1/4 cup of the parmesan cheese to the rice and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a greased 2-quart baking dish and pour the cream over. Top with the remaining 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese and drizzle with the remaining tablespoon of oil. Bake till bubbly and golden brown, 30 – 35 minutes.
Note: To make ahead of time, place the ingredients in the baking dish as instructed and cover with foil. Pour the cream into a separate bowl or jar and cover as well. Refrigerate both for up to 4 days. On the day you plan to serve, pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees and take the rice and cream out of the fridge (uncovering the rice), letting both sit out at room temperature for about 30 minutes. Bake according to the above directions, adding more time if needed to heat through.