Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Wild Rice w/Butternut Squash and Pomegranate Seeds

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My mom had brought us some bags of rice when she met up with me in Italy.  (because all we have here is Basmati and Arborio- and without wine, Arborio just isn't the same)  Anyway, I thought the rice she brought me was black rice (I mean it looked black to me!)  So, I googled recipes for black rice.
Let me just say, there aren't many choices out there.  Guessing black rice is hard to find.  But, still, thinking I had black rice, I chose to make this dish.
I just happened to have purchased a pomegranate a few days before and then all I needed was the squash.  The recipe is from Cooking Light and the reviews were a bit mixed.  But, it was the best recipe I could find, so I went with it.
Turns out my rice was just wild rice (really good wild rice, though, from Trader Joes)  I had no idea what this was going to taste like...and I was surprised how much I enjoyed it.  The kids kinda liked it, they weren't jumping up and down or anything.  But the hubby gave the dish two thumbs up.  I kept with what a review said and served the dish warm.  Great weeknight meal that didn't take long to prepare.  Not to mention, extremely healthy and vegan!  :D

  • Ingredients:
  • 2/3 cup black rice*
  • 1 pound butternut squash
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet smoked Spanish paprika*
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 tablespoon maple syrup
  • Pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons sliced green onions
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds

  • Preparation
  • 1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the rice, adjust heat to maintain a lively simmer, and cook until rice is tender, about 30 minutes. Drain and rinse with cool water.
  • 2. Preheat oven to 375°. Peel and seed squash and cut into 1-in. cubes. In a large bowl, toss squash with paprika, salt, and 1 tbsp. oil. Spread on a baking sheet in a single layer and roast, stirring occasionally, until browned and tender, about 40 minutes. Let cool. Spread pecans on another baking sheet and toast until fragrant, stirring once, 6 to 8 minutes.
  • 3. Whisk together remaining 2 tbsp. oil, the lemon juice, maple syrup, and pepper in a serving bowl. Toss with reserved rice, roasted squash, green onions, and most of pecans and pomegranate seeds. Sprinkle with remaining pecans and pomegranate seeds.
  • *Note:  I made double the recipe and had a bit of leftovers (but not a lot)
  • *Find black rice and smoked Spanish paprika at Whole Foods Market or other well-stocked grocery stores.
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