I have this vision that someday, when we’re not tethered to jobs or schools, we’ll go on a worldwide, forever vacation by way of house swapping. Why retire here when you can retire there, right? Just add airfare, housekeeping, translation books and stir.
Over spring break, we dabbled. We stayed at a home herewhile my amazing MIL, Nancy, and her friends stayed in our house. Not only did these wonderful guests leave the place better than how we left it – sorry about that dirty hamster cage – but they filled the refrigerator with cooked foods and sauces that we ate for days and then thanked us with wonderful handwritten stories, a sumptuous bottle of wine and this splendid book.
The headliner was this whole grain rice salad for which Nancy shared the recipe and I had to share with you here. Laced with gems like roasted squash, pomegranate seeds, pistachio nuts – all stars in their own rights – and combined to create flavor compliments that elevate the nutty essence of black and wild rices to another level. It held up and even bloomed brighter everyday in the refrigerator making it a perfect crunchtime whole grain go-to for your busy week. Don’t forget, these extra ingredients need not be laborious. If you’re time-pressed, buy pre-cubed squash, shelled pistachios and pomegranate seeds from your grocer. I also vacuumed sealed and froze a portion that resumed quite well a week later.
Was it wrong that I didn’t mention to them that one of our hamsters disappeared in our house a few weeks ago? Check your luggage ladies.
black & wild rice salad with roasted squash
preptime: 10-15 minutes 8 servings
cook/baketime: 30-35 min.
An ideal healthy salad to make-ahead for dinner and then nibble on for the remainder of the week or to serve to guests. The brilliant colors, especially when tossed with purple microgreens, will ignite any table and the flavor meld will delight any palate. Black ‘forbidden’ rice offers anti-oxidant and reparative properties and wild rice is a grass, not a rice, and packed with similar health benefits and vitamins. Toss with cilantro or parsley if you want green in your salad.
- 1 1/2 cups black rice
- 1/2 cup wild rice
- Kosher salt
- 1/2 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed, cut into pieces
- 1/2 cup olive oil, divided
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- 1 cup pomegranate seeds
- 1 cup microgreens or sprouts
- 1/2 cup roasted pistachios, chopped
- Preheat oven to 450°.
- Cook black rice and wild rice in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender, 35–40 minutes; drain and rinse, shaking off as much water as possible. Spread out on a rimmed baking sheet and let cool.
- Meanwhile, toss squash with 1/4 cup oil on another baking sheet; season with salt and pepper. Roast, tossing once, until golden brown and tender, 20–25 minutes; let cool.
- Whisk vinegar, honey, and remaining 1/4 cup oil in a large bowl. Add black rice and wild rice, squash, scallions, pomegranate seeds, microgreens, and pistachios; season with salt and pepper and toss to combine.
- Use pre-cut butternut squash, shelled pistachios, seeded pomegranates.
- Roast squash and cook rices ahead of time.
- Freeze in vacuum sealed bags without the greens.
recipe inspired by mil Nancy who relied on Bon Appetit January 2014 and provided by your friends at crunchtimefood.com