Butternut Sage Rice with Chard Chiffonade, Caramelized Onions & Sage Crisps

This one is for the gourmet foodie in me.

One of the best trips I’ve ever had was to Napa Valley, and we were fortunate enough to happen upon Mustards Grill. The food and wine were life changing and my tastebuds haven’t been the same since. I love Mustards so much and cannot wait to visit again. It has been too long (since 2006!) but I still remember the a butternut ravioli with sage butter sauce. The flavor has stuck with me and made me a groupie of the ‘butternut and sage show’.

This dish is 100% inspired by that trip and the lasting impressions Mustards made on me. I love this dish so much. Sage crisps are such an easy and mind blowing little addition, and you should go ahead and crisp more leaves than you will need because once they start cooking your mouth starts watering and you’re likely to eat them all as soon and you remove them from the skillet. By all means go ahead an nibble your chef’s treat (you know about chef’s treats, right? All the secret nibbles that you get to sneak a pinch of here and a half a teaspoon there?) but please let them cool for 30 seconds so you don’t lose any skin on the roof of your mouth. Of course, I wouldn’t know anything about that…

Be sure to have your rice cooked ahead of time and your butternut roasted ahead of time so that this dish comes together quickly. I always cook extra rice, and try and roast a couple of squash at a time so that they are ready to go in the fridge and easy to use in a lovely dish like this. As long as you have those things ready to use then this dish comes together VERY quickly, but miraculously looks like it took you all day. Speaking of looks, it looks like a gourmet 5-star entree, and it might as well be. Just wait till you taste the creamy, sweet rice; the bright, bite of the chard; the deep earthiness of the onions and the crispy softness of the sage. Crispy softness? The texture is crisp but the taste is so mellow. Softly unfolding. Oh I can’t wait for you to make this! Go! GO! Go right now and get cooking!

Oh, and of course don’t forget to pour a nice Napa Valley Pinot Grigio along side.

Butternut Sage Rice with Chard Chiffonade, Caramelized Onions and Sage Crisps

by Vegucated Kitchen

Ingredients (Serves 4)

    For the onions

    • 1Tablespoon vegan margarine
    • 1 onion, sliced into half moons
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1 Tablespoon of vegan sugar

    For the sage crisps

    • 1 Tablspoon vegan margarine
    • about 15 whole sage leaves, cleaned and dry

    For the rice

    • 2 Tablespoons finely chopped sage
    • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
    • 1 medium size butternut squash, roasted
    • 1/8 cup nutritional yeast
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1 cup vegetable broth
    • 4 cups brown rice, cooked

    For the chard

    • 8-10 large leaves of swiss chard, thinly sliced into chiffonade ribbons

    Instructions

    For the onions

    In a heavy skillet over medium-high heat 1 tablespoon of vegan margarine until melted.

    Add the onions and sprinkle with salt and sugar. Allow to cook for about 15 minutes until caramelly and golden brown all over. Toss occasionally.

    Remove onions from skillet and set aside

    For the sage crisps

    Melt an additional 1 Tablespoon of vegan margarine in the skillet over high heat.

    Add the whole sage leaves and allow them to fry in the margarine, turning them often and carefully to assure they lay flat and do not fold. You know they are ready to be removed when they are rigid and no longer flex when turned. Remove from skillet and place on a paper towel.

    For the rice

    In a large bowl scoop the flesh of the butternut out of its shell and into the bowl.

    Add the nutritional yeast, salt and broth. Mash with a potato masher until blended and smooth. Some small lumps of butternut will remain.

    In the skillet, reduce heat to medium and add the chopped sage and the garlic. Sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

    Add the cooked rice to the skillet and toss to coat and until warm. About 3 minutes

    Add the mashed butternut and again toss to coat and heat. About 10 minutes until hot and bubbly.

    Divide the rice between warmed plates.

    For the chard

    In a skillet heated to medium-high add the swiss chard and 1 Tablespoon of water. Cover for 2 minutes, then remove the lid and toss to sauté and wilt evenly. Once all the leaves have turned bright green and wilted, remove from heat.

    Divide the swiss chard between the bowls by making a small pile just over the center of the rice.

    Divide the onions between the bowls, placing them on top of the swiss chard.

    Finally, place the sage crisps around the edges of the rice and serve immediately.

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