Halloween Black Rice and Butternut Squash

The dramatic black & orange colors of this dish make it perfect for the Halloween season. Even more perfect, however, are the flavors – lots of rich, fall goodness. The black rice is a bit chewy, the caramelized onions and butternut squash are sweet and flavorful, the pecans add a nutty crunch and the golden raisins provide a tart sweetness. Toss it together with a handful of peppery arugula leaves, a tangy balsamic vinaigrette, french herbs from Provence nut & spice mix, and this dish is, well, pretty perfect.

Halloween Black Rice & Butternut

4 servings

Ingredients

    for the dressing:
  • 2 ½ tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Provence nut & spice mix
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • pinch of salt
  • for the black rice & butternut salad:
  • Provence nut & spice mix
  • 1 cup black rice
  • 2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 butternut squash, medium size
  • 1 yellow onion, large
  • ½ cup whole pecans, raw
  • 1/3 cup golden raisins
  • 2 handfuls arugula

Instructions

  1. In a saucepan, bring to a boil 2 cups of vegetable or chicken broth. Add black rice, 2 teaspoons of Provence nut & spice mix and bring back to a boil. Cover and simmer on very low heat for about 30-40 minutes. Remove from heat and let it sit covered until all the water is absorbed (I let it sit for a good 40 min to an hour). Remove the lid, fluff lightly with a fork, and cool completely.
  2. Cut the butternut squash into small cubes. The easiest way I have found to cut the squash is to cut each end off, cut it in half, then peel both halves. Scoop out the seeds & flesh, slice into lengths, then slice into cubes. If you can find pre-cut butternut squash, this makes the process much easier! Slice the large onion into somewhat thin slices. Arrange both the squash & onion on a parchment lined baking tray, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt & toss well. Bake both veggies in a 425° oven for 30-40 minutes or until they are nicely browned and roasted. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.
  3. While the veggies and rice are cooking, whisk together all of the ingredients for the dressing and set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, add arugula leaves and toss with a bit of the dressing to coat the leaves completely. Add in squash, onions, golden raisins, and pecans. Toss all with dressing to incorporate together. Add in the black rice and toss gently. Serve immediately and finish with an additional sprinkle of Provence nut & spice mix.

Halloween Black Rice & Butternut Squash
Halloween Black Rice & Butternut Squash
Halloween Black Rice & Butternut Squash
Halloween Black Rice & Butternut Squash
Halloween Black Rice & Butternut Squash
Halloween Black Rice & Butternut Squash
Halloween Black Rice & Butternut Squash
Halloween Black Rice & Butternut Squash
Halloween Black Rice & Butternut Squash