Meatless Monday – Black and Wild Rice Salad with Roasted Squash and Pomegranate (Re-Do)

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Black Rice Dish

Pomegranates are back!  I have been waiting for pomegranates to come back into season just so I can make this dish again. People often ask for recommendations.  Here it is people –    one of my top five favorite dishes so far!  This is a Wow! dish. The photo does not do it justice. It’s proof though that I’m a little better with my camera than I was back then.  Goodmotherdiet was only 2 months old.  Just a baby! I can remember feeling it was a major accomplishment just to get a photo onto the blog. But I digress… Black and wild rice, roasted squash, pumpkin seeds, pomegranate and microgreens, all topped with a yummy honey vinaigrette, just in time for Thanksgiving!  I have made this dish out of season with dried cranberries or cherries with good results but nothing compares to the zing and pop that you only get from pomegranate seeds.

A weekend filled with fabulous parties and friends was great fun but it means that I spent little time in my kitchen.  I have been working my way through my old posts though and reformatting them so the recipes can be printed onto one page instead of many. (Thanks Barbara and Jane for the suggestion!) So in case you missed Black and Wild Rice the first time, here it is again.  You won’t be sorry! I have already bought my pomegranate and I am definitely making this soon, although not tonight since it’s hubby’s 55th and we’re going to celebrate in “The City”.  The party continues… Happy Birthday Jeff!

PS:  If anyone makes this, please send me a photo.  It will definitely be better than mine…

 

 

CLICK HERE FOR THE RECIPE

Meatless Monday – Black & Wild Rice with Roasted Squash

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Forbidden Rice, the name conjures up visions of  colorful satin, harem pants and priceless jewels. Forbidden rice (also called black or purple rice) may have gotten its name from ancient China when it was considered the finest grain (due to its rarity and high nutritional value) and only emperors were allowed to eat it.  Luckily for us, forbidden rice is much more readily available and is becoming more popular as a food staple. It has a wonderful nutty flavor and consistency, and that glorious color that turns your rice dish into a masterpiece – plus its loaded with fiber and nutrition.   ‘Black rice was proclaimed as a ‘superfood’ worldwide largely thanks to an important piece of research by Dr. Zhimin Xu, titled “Black rice rivals pricey blueberries as source of healthful antioxidants”. The research stated that “just a spoonful of black rice bran contains more health promoting anthocyanin antioxidants than are found in a spoonful of blueberries, but with less sugar and more fiber and vitamin E antioxidants”‘ (Wikipedia)

I love forbidden rice, pretty much any way I’ve ever had it, but have to admit that this recipe from Bon Appetite (January, 2014) is simply the best.  I decided to try it because the photo in the magazine was just so beautiful, but as I was making it, I thought some of the ingredients (like pomegranate seeds and microgreens) seemed out of place so I was tempted to leave them out.  I’m glad I didn’t because every ingredient adds another unique burst of flavor.  I tasted the dish both with the honey, vinegar dressing and without.  Both ways are good but the dressing makes it taste a bit more like a salad rather than a main course. I did not have pistachios so substituted pepitos (shelled pumpkin seeds) which tasted great.  You can also substitute sprouts or fresh herbs like cilantro or parsley for the microgreens.  This dish is meant to be served at room temperature which makes it perfect to bring to a party or for a buffet.  Sometimes its nice to have a fuss free meal that doesn’t have to be served piping hot.  You can make it ahead and chill it in the refrigerator (without the microgreens).  Just bring it to room temperature, add the greens and toss.

Black Rice Caesar

I was inspired to make a Caesar salad when I saw a package of Kali Parmesan Crisps in Whole Foods.  They add a delicious salty crunch in place of croutons.  I looked up the recipe out of curiosity.  Its only finely shredded parmesan cheese, spread into circles and baked for 5 minutes.  Next time I will make them at home.

Ingredients:

1 1/2  cup black rice
1/2 cup wild rice
kosher salt
1/2 medium or 1 small butternut squash
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tsp honey
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1 cup pomegranate seeds
1 cup microgreens (or parsley or cilantro)
1/2 cup pistachios (or pepitas – shelled pumpkin seeds)

Black Rice ingredients

  • Cook black rice and wild rice in a large pot of boiling water with about 4 cups vegetable broth or salted water about 35 minutes or until tender.  Remove from pot into a large bowl.

Black Rice Squash cut raw

  • Preheat oven to 450. Half, seed and peel the squash and cut into cubes.  I found a small squash so used the whole thing.  Place squash cubes in a baking dish and toss with 1/4 cup olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper.

Black Rice Squash cut

  • Roast squash 20 to 25 minutes, stirring a couple of times.  Remove from heat and let cool.
  • Whisk vinegar, honey and 1/4 cup oil in a large bowl.  Add rice, squash, pomegranate, microgreens and pistachios; toss to combine.

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Black and Wild Rice with Roasted Squash

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: medium
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Black and Wild Rice with Roasted Squash

1 1/2  cup black rice
1/2 cup wild rice
kosher salt
1/2 medium or 1 small butternut squash
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tsp honey
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1 cup pomegranate seeds
1 cup microgreens (or parsley or cilantro)
1/2 cup pistachios (or pepitas – shelled pumpkin seeds)
  • Cook black rice and wild rice in a large pot of boiling water with about 4 cups vegetable broth or salted water about 35 minutes or until tender.  Remove from pot into a large bowl.
  • Preheat oven to 450. Half, seed and peel the squash and cut into cubes.  I found a small squash so used the whole thing.  Place squash cubes in a baking dish and toss with 1/4 cup olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper.
  • Roast squash 20 to 25 minutes, stirring a couple of times.  Remove from heat and let cool.
  • Whisk vinegar, honey and 1/4 cup oil in a large bowl.  Add rice, squash, pomegranate, microgreens and pistachios; toss to combine.

Caesar Salad with Parmesan Crisps

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Black Rice Caesar

1 head romaine, cleaned and cut
cherry tomatoes(optional)
scallions, thinly sliced
parmesan crisps (homemade or packaged)

Arrange vegetables in a bowl and toss with dressing. Top with crisps.

Dressing: Mix all ingredients in a blender or food processor.

Black Rice Parmesan Crisps