October 22, 2014
I’ve been thinking about this recipe for black rice and butternut squash since June, just waiting for Halloween season to hit. This week it garnered rave reviews from my taste testers. The kids loved the play on black and orange, and I loved serving up a healthy side dish that is full of flavor.
The sweetness of the butternut squash is a great partner to the depth of flavor of the earthy black rice. I’ll be making this again for Halloween with a side of skinny chicken and a green salad for a nutrient-rich boost before the candy crash begins.
If you wish to forgo your slasher fantasies of hacking into a butternut squash, go ahead and grab a precut bag at the market. There are all sorts of varieties of black rice out there. Long grain wild black rice has a more earthy and nutty flavor than it’s plain short grain counter part. Pick what you think your family will like, any type will work. Be sure to follow the cooking instructions on the package because black rice tends to take longer to cook.
This is a very simple recipe so the details are important. Don’t skip the parsley; it adds a nice freshness to the dish. Feta is also a great addition, I skipped it when serving the kids but added it to the leftovers I had for lunch and it was terrific.
Roasted Butternut Squash with Black Rice
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
1.4 pounds of butternut squash, a large squash diced into 1”cubes~ about 1 small squash
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon cracked pepper
1 cup Japanese black rice or black wild rice
1 heaping tablespoon fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
1/2 cup feta, cut in cubes, optional
Best quality olive oil (this is my pantry favorite)
Place the squash, oil, salt and pepper on a cookie sheet and roast until golden brown, about 45 minutes. Check on the squash after about 25 minutes and use a metal spatula to move the pieces around the baking pan.
Cook the rice per package instructions; just make sure to season the water with about 1/2 tsp of kosher salt. Once the squash and the rice have been cooked mix together and garnish with parsley, feta (if using) and a drizzle of olive oil. This is great served both warm and at room temperature.