I saw this recipe in the January issue of Bon Appetit and I had to try it! It looked so bright and colorful. Grain salads are so satisfying and keep well in the fridge. I loved how this turned out, it’s definitely a keeper. I served this with a quick coconut milk-miso-lime butternut squash soup (made from the other half of the squash from the recipe), and my chili roasted brussels.
Black rice and roasted squash salad. (adapted from Bon Appetit’s January 2014 issue)
2 cups black rice
½ medium butternut squash (or kabocha, or acorn) peeled, seeds removed, cut into bite size pieces
1/4 cup olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons oil for roasting squash
¼ cup red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons honey (maple syrup would also work here)
2 scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
1 cup pomegranate seeds
1 cup microgreens or sprouts (I used some overgrown spicy microgreens, roughly chopped)
½ cup pistachios, chopped (pepitas or hazelnuts would also go well here)
Preheat the oven to 450. In a dutch oven or other heavy bottomed pot, add rice and 2.5c stock or water. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to simmer. Cook for 45 minutes. Remove pot from heat, take off lid. Place kitchen towel (folded in half to fit) over open pot. Replace lid and let sit for at least 5 minutes. (This step ensures fluffy, perfect and NOT SOGGY rice every time without a rice cooker.) Allow rice to cool a little before assembling salad- warm rice is fine, just not hot as it will wilt the fresh produce.
Meanwhile, toss squash with a few tablespoons of oil, and a little salt and pepper. Place squash on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment (for easy cleanup and no sticking) and bake for 30-45 minutes, until squash is soft, golden and browned around the edges. Allow squash to cool for 10 minutes before proceeding.
While squash is cooling, mix the oil, honey, and vinegar in a small bowl.
Place rice and squash in a large bowl. Add pistachios, scallions and pom seeds. Mix thoroughly. Add the microgreens and vinaigrette; toss gently. Serve!
Note: If you will have leftovers, keep the microgreens separate otherwise they will go soggy in the fridge which is no fun.