Foraged-Mushroom Tower with Sweet Dumpling Squash Sauce

A member of Chefs Collaborative, a network of professionals committed to using local, sustainably produced ingredients, Scott Johnson of Canoe Bay Relais and Chateaux in Wisconsin focuses his menu around the indigenous Wisconsin bounty. If you're not up for foraging your own mushrooms, check out your nearest farmers' market.
Foraged-Mushroom Tower with Sweet Dumpling Squash Sauce

Ingredients

1 tablespoon butter
8 ounces sweet dumpling squash, peeled and diced
4 yellow onions, diced
1 tablespoon caraway seeds
16 ounces apple cider
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 sprig rosemary
1 cup wild rice
2 cups water
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 portobello mushroom, gills removed, chopped into 2-inch cubes
1 cup hen-of-the-woods (or maitake) mushrooms, root ends trimmed, white outer membranes peeled, sliced into ½-inch strips
1 cup chanterelle mushrooms, outer membranes scraped off, sliced into ½-inch pieces
1 3-inch ring mold, available at any cooking supply store and at many supermarkets

Nutrition Facts

Per serving: 210 calories, 2.5 g fat (1.25 g saturated), 41 g carbohydrates, 7 g protein, 4.5 g fiber, 175 mg sodium (8% Daily Value).

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Directions

  1. Prepare the sauce: In a large saucepot, combine butter, squash, onion, and caraway seeds. Cook over medium heat until onions are translucent. Reduce to low heat and add cider, thyme, and rosemary. Cook until reduced by about half. Puree sauce in a food processor and reserve.

  2. Cook the rice: In a medium saucepan, combine wild rice with 2 cups water and a pinch of salt; cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until tender, about 45 minutes.

  3. Cook the mushrooms: In a sauté pan over medium heat, combine mushrooms with 1 teaspoon of olive oil and sauté until mushrooms become soft and tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and reduce heat to low.

  4. Assemble the dish: Spoon rice onto plates; place ring mold on first plate next to rice and fill mold with mushrooms to create a tower; carefully lift away mold and repeat for all plates; serve, passing remaining sauce at the table.