So because I’m moving and combining households, I got rid of my rice cooker. THE HORROR. I think I may have mentioned before that I cannot, for the life of me, cook rice on the stovetop. This is why a friend gave me a rice cooker years ago. But I’m now without it for about three weeks until our households are actually combined. I still have rice, though.
Years ago, I got a pamphlet from (I think) the canola oil council out in North Dakota, and it had a baked rice dish in it. I remember it being greasy, though, probably because the pamphlet was about oil, not rice. So I looked up “baked rice” on the great wide internet, and I found Alton Brown’s recipe. I used this as the basis for a rice side dish full of fall flavors — butternut squash is earthy and a bit sweet, brown jasmine rice is worth hunting down, as it’s nutty but smoother than “regular” brown rice, and cranberries are fruity and tart and bright.
I’ll apologize for the photos, as everything is in disarray right now. Denise and I have recipes for you through September, but we’re going to take a few weeks off in October to regroup as the blog goes bi-coastal.
- 1 cup brown jasmine rice
- 1 3/4 cup boiling water
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil or vegan margarine
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup cranberries
- 1 1/2 cups butternut squash chunks
- 1-2 Tablespoons nuts optional
- Preheat oven to 375℉
- Add all the ingredients except water and nuts (optional!) to an oven-safe casserole dish. My cranberries are always frozen, but this is fine -- just pick out any mushy ones.
- Bring water to a boil and pour over rice and other stuff.
- Cover tightly. This is easiest with a glass or glass-topped casserole dish as you can check it without letting the steam out, but if you don't have one, foil works, too.
- Bake for about 45 minutes. The water should be completely absorbed. Remove from the oven, remove the lid, and fluff the rice with a fork so that the underside doesn't over-steam.
- Top with nuts, if using, and serve.
**You can substitute white rice in this dish, but decrease the water to 1:1 (1 cup, in this case) and decrease the cooking time to 30 minutes. I like the brown jasmine rice, in particular, as it has the nuttiness of regular brown rice without the more fibrous texture, and the flavor compliments the squash.