Comfort Food: Meatloaf and Wild Rice, Kale, and Butternut Squash Au Gratin

Meatloaf with Wild Rice Au Gratin

It’s finally fall!  I’m so excited to be sitting here wrapped in a warm blanket and sipping on freshly-brewed hot coffee.  I’m in Boston right now, so it’s a little colder than in DC, and it’s absolutely perfect.  In honor of the first gorgeous day of Fall, here’s a post on my absolute favorite types of comfort foods: ones that involve cheese and lots of veggies.

The Meatloaf

Alton Brown’s recipe is perfect.  I leave out the red peppers, use panko bread crumbs in place of croutons and make sure sriracha is the hot sauce I choose.  I also stick a hard-boiled egg in the middle (I used a saffron-pickled duck egg this time around since I had one on hand, but feel free to use just a normal one.)  The egg will pick up all of the yummy flavors and juices from the meatloaf and just taste amazing.

The Au Gratin

This is based off of a recipe from the Smitten Kitchen cookbook.  But here’s what I did since it’s a little different:

  • 1 onion, cut into half and then into thin slices
  • 1 clove garlic, cut into slivers
  • Olive oil
  • 4 cups kale, cut into ribbons
  • 1 small butternut squash, cut into bite-sized pieces and roasted until soft
  • 3 cups wild rice, cooked
  • 2 cups shredded Swiss cheese
  • 1/2 cup vegetable stock
  • panko bread crumbs, toasted lightly with 1 T butter
  1. Start by heating 2 T olive oil in a large cast-iron (or any other oven-safe) skillet over medium heat.  When hot, add in the onion and the garlic and cook while stirring until the onions are caramelized.
  2. Add in the kale and cook until wilted.  Then, stir in the butternut squash and the wild rice.
  3. Remove the mixture from the stove and stir in one cup of the shredded swiss cheese and the vegetable stock.
  4. Top the mixture with the remaining Swiss cheese and toasted panko bread crumbs.
  5. Bake, uncovered, in a 350 degree oven for about 40 minutes, or until the bread crumbs are a nice golden-brown color and the cheese is bubbling.
  6. Enjoy!

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We paired our meal with this red-wine blend from Argentina.

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