You know how on the series finale of a television show, you’ll get what seems like a parade of all your favorite characters, past and present, all somehow miraculously reunited for one last hurrah? That’s how the CSA felt in the last week of delivery. Stars of CSA boxes past resurfaced and much like those series finales, I applauded the return of favorites and rolled my eyes in annoyance at others. We saw squash, rutabaga, chard, etc. That share box was bursting at the seams!
For this dish, I pulled together the squash and the chard. By adding an apple, I felt like I hit the jackpot in seasonal ingredients and rejoiced in the sunny colors of this dish, given the pelting rain, winds, and cold temps outside at the time.
What made this so seasonal was combining a delicata squash with chunks of honeycrisp apple. The honeycrisp apple is the relatively new favorite apple in my household: it’s crisp (duh– says so in the name), slightly floral and a hint citrusy in taste. I think they’ve been a Pacific Northwest secret, but lately, I’ve seen a handful of recipes from national sources refer to them so they might be available near you if you don’t follow the eat local thing. But note, I don’t see them around here except for when they’re in season– late summer through mid-fall, so keep that in mind when hunting for that perfect apple later this year.
Anyway, as this came together, the squash was soft and buttery while the apple retained its firmness and faintly sweet taste. I combined this with pork and apple sausage that seemed to have a hint of spice from something… maybe nutmeg(?) and piled this up on top of nutty wild rice that was filled with flavor from rich chicken stock. I bet this would also make for a great breakfast, swapping out the rice for a couple of eggs cooked any way you like them.
- 1 medium delicata squash
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 1.5 cups wild rice
- 1 medium honeycrisp apple
- 1 medium shallot, sliced
- 1 small clove garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme
- 1 package apple and pork sausage
- 1 bunch rainbow chard, roughly chopped.
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and clean out the seeds and stringy bits. Lightly brush the cut side with olive oil and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Set cut side down on a foil lined baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes or until tender. Remove from the oven and let cool to the touch.
Heat about 1 tsp olive oil in the bottom of a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Add the wild rice and toss around in the oil to coat the grains. Let it toast for a couple of minutes then add the stock. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and let cook for 40 minutes or until the stock is absorbed.
Coat the bottom of a small skillet with enough oil to just cover the bottom. Sit the sausages on top of the oil and add just enough water to cover the bottom of the skillet. Cover the pan and cook over medium high heat for 5 minutes then remove the lid. Reduce heat to medium and continue to cook, uncovered until the water evaporates, turning the sausages every now and then to ensure even browning. Cut into bite sized pieces.
Peel and core the apple, then cut it into 1/2 inch dice. In a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp oil over medium heat. Add the shallot and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the apple and cook for 3-4 minutes or until the pieces begin to soften. Add the squash, garlic and thyme and cook until heated through. Be careful when stirring so as not to mash up the squash. Lastly, fold in the sausage pieces and the chard, sautéing until the chard is wilted. Season with salt and pepper to taste. To serve, plate wild rice and pile the hash on top– simple enough.
CSA Count: 4
Shallot, garlic, delicata squash, rainbow chard