By: Jenny Breen
Serves 4 as an entrée and 8 as a side dish.
- 1 cup wild rice (or other local grain like barley or wheat berries)
- 5 cups stock or water, divided
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 large leeks, cleaned well and roughly chopped
- 1 cup mushrooms from Cherry Tree House Mushrooms, sliced or diced
- 1 cup peeled butternut, red kuru or similar squash, diced small
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried
- 2 tablespoons fresh minced rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried
- 2 cups milk of your choice, divided (use rice or soy for vegan option)
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1 cup sun dried tomatoes, chopped or cut with a scissors and soaked in 2 cups hot water
- 1 cup grated Burr Oak or Fresiago cheese from Shepherd’s Way Farm (skip for a vegan option)
Cook rice in 3 cups stock or water until tender (about 30 minutes) and set aside.
In a large, deep skillet, heat the ¼ cup olive oil over medium heat and sauté garlic, onions/leeks, mushrooms and squash for about 3 minutes, until nicely caramelized. Add the herbs, and cooked barley and slowly add 1 ½ cups of the milk.
Stir constantly over medium heat, adding small amounts of wine, stock and more milk. Keep stirring as it gets creamy. Continue to add liquid as needed for 20 to 25 minutes. It should be creamy, not mushy. If you prefer it creamier, continue with the slow cooking and addition of liquid for up to an hour.
After liquid is well absorbed, add sun dried tomatoes and combine well. Fold in the cheese (if using) and mix until well blended, adding more liquid if desired.