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PUMPKIN BASMATI RICE PILAF

From: The Ethical Gourmet by Jay Weinstein

Master the pumpkin and you'll eat locally all winter. Squashes, gourds, and pumpkins keep for months in cold weather and get sweeter as they age, as their starches convert to sugars. They are usually interchangeable, so try this recipe with delicata, dumpling, kabocha, turban, calabaza, or any other winter squash that looks good in the market. Serve this pilaf with beans for a wholesome, protein-complete vegetarian meal.
Serves 8



Ingredients
• 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
• 1 large Spanish onion, chopped (about 3 cups)
• 2 pounds pumpkin or winter squash, cut into 72-inch dice (about 4 cups)
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 bay leaf
• 2 cups basmati rice
• 3 cups vegetable stock or water


Directions
Melt the butter in a large saucepan with a tight-fitting lid over moderate heat.
Add the onion, pumpkin, and salt; cook gently until the onion is soft, about 10 minutes.
Add the bay leaf and rice.
Stir to coat; cook 5 minutes, scraping the bottom of the pot regularly with a wooden spoon.

Add the stock; stir, and bring to a boil.
Lower the heat and simmer, covered tightly, very slowly for 20 minutes.
Remove from heat; let stand 5 minutes.
Fluff with a fork before serving.
 

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