This has been such an amazingly beautiful autumn. It’s been so much fun experimenting with all the produce and flavors of the season, which makes me tremendously excited for Thanksgiving this year.
I’m all about switching up some of our Thanksgiving side dishes and this one is a serious contender to join mashed potatoes and stuffing on the table.
It’s everything fall. Savory venison with buttery mushrooms, acorn squash spiced with warm cloves, piney sage and crunchy walnuts. Not to mention the parmesan cheese that holds everything together. So good.
And this could be rice’s debut appearance on our Thanksgiving table. I can’t think of a better dish to try it out with.
The wild rice, mushrooms, and venison alone makes a great meal that comes together quick once the rice is cooked. Perfect for an easy weeknight meal. But adding the acorn squash and sage walnut gremolata sets it over the top making it perfect to entertain with.
Wild Rice Mushroom Venison Stuffed Acorn Squash with Sage Walnut Gremolata
For the Squash
- 1 Acorn Squash, cut into quarters
- 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
Preheat the oven to 425. Season the acorn squash with olive oil and seasoning. Place in the oven for 25-30 minutes, until fork tender.
For the Wild Rice Mushroom Venison
- 1 Cup Wild Rice
- 2 Tbsp Butter
- 6 Sage Leaves
- 2 Cups Baby Portabello Mushrooms, sliced
- 1 Tsp Salt
- 1 Lb Ground Venison or Beef
- 1/2 Cup Grated Parmesan
Cook the rice according the package directions. In a large skillet over medium heat melt butter and add sage leaves. Remove the sage leaves once they brown and set aside. Add the mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes then season with salt and pepper. Remove the mushrooms from the pan and cook the venison, seasoning with salt and pepper. Add the mushrooms, rice, and parmesan and stir to combine.
For the Sage Walnut Gremolata
- 1/2 Cup Walnut Halves
- 6 Sage Leaves
- 2 Garlic Cloves
- Zest from 1 Lemon
- 1 Tsp Olive Oil
Heat a small pan over medium heat. Finely chop the walnuts, sage leaves, and garlic cloves. Combine with lemon zest and toss in pan, stirring frequently to toast the walnuts. Add the olive oil, salt, and pepper.
Spoon the wild rice mixture in to squash, top with gremolata and enjoy!