I celebrated Samhain for the first time this year, and wanted to make a dish for the event that evoked as much as possible just what it is that makes the end of October so fantastical and spooky. I landed on a very thick stew that is extremely healthy and nourishing, but also comforting and hearty, spiced and warming, and it's the very perfect thing for a dark October night (or any of the chilly nights to come!)
Oil for sautéing
1 onion, diced
1 small tomato, diced
1 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes
1 tsp fresh grated ginger
1 1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp cayenne
1/8 tsp cloves
salt, to taste
1 medium kabocha or buttercup squash, peeled and cubed
2/3 cup wild brown rice, rinsed
2 1/2 - 3 and 1 1/3 cups vegetable stock, separated
1/2 cup dry brown lentils, rinsed
1/2 cup dry green lentils, rinsed
1. In a small pot, bring the wild rice and 1 1/3 cups of stock to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until the rice is tender, about 15 - 20 minutes. Once done, set aside.
2. While rice is cooking, heat a large, heavy pan and sauté the onion in about a tbsp of oil, for two minutes or until the onion softens.
3. Add the spices, ginger, and salt and cook for 1 minute, stirring, then add the canned and fresh tomatoes, and cook for 2 more minutes.
4. Stir in the lentils, followed by the squash and the remaining 2 1/2 cups stock, adding the remaining 1/2 cup of water if you'd like a thinner stew.
5. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook, covered, for about 25-35 minutes, until the squash and lentils are soft.
6. Stir the cooked wild rice into the stew, and serve hot.