This past thanksgiving among the turkey, sweet potato soufflé, gravy, stuffing and all the other stuff that was on the table I manage to serve a vegetarian dish for some of my guest.
Now a day, there should not be an entertainment menu without a vegetarian dish. I would not even call this a vegetarian dish, but an awesome wild rice salad with some pretty fall ingredients in the mix.
Even the non-vegetarians loved it. It’s not a hard dish to make, just various step before you toss everything together and served a room temperature.
I found the recipe at the Kinfolk Magazine. Have you ever read their web site? If not I highly recommend it; it’s just a beautiful site. With amazing photos, great recipes and articles and ideas. It has become one of my favorite sites to read and pin; I have quite a bit of their recipes on my pinterest virtual cookbook to try out. This is one of many.
MOROCCAN WILD RICE AND BUTTERNUT SQUASH SALAD
Adapted from Kinfolk
1½ cups wild rice
4 cups butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into small cubes
2 cups sweet onions, sliced thin
1 cup sultana raisins
½ cup sliced toasted almonds (or whatever other nuts you like)
1 cup Italian parsley leaves
½ cup olive oil, plus additional
Juice of 1 lemon
Juice of 1/2 lime
1½ teaspoons salt
1½ teaspoons cumin
1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoons turmeric
Pinch cayenne pepper
Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and a second rack to the upper third position. Preheat the oven to 450°F
Cook the rice per manufacturer’s instructions. TIP: I actually bough some of those fast cook rice packages to make the rice and it save me even more time putting this together. But, if you want to cook the rice the old fashion long way - have at it.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and arrange the squash in a single layer. Douse the squash with olive oil, and sprinkle with ½ teaspoon salt, cumin, cinnamon and turmeric. Massage with hands to coat evenly. Bake for 25 minutes or until the edges of the squash begin to brown and crisp, but not burn. Transfer the sheet to a cooling rack.
Turn oven to broil. Place the almonds on a baking sheet and broil them until lightly browned, 2 to 5 minutes, depending on the broiler. Transfer the sheet to a cooling rack.
In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are caramelize, about 30 minutes. Set aside.
With all cooked components at your workstation, combine the rice, squash, onions, raisins and almonds in a large mixing bowl. I
In a small bowl, prepare the dressing with 3 tablespoons olive oil, lemon and lime juices, salt, cumin, cinnamon, turmeric and cayenne pepper. Garnish with a generous amount of parsley and serve at room temperature.
I know that the salad dressing has a very strong flavor profile that for some people will not be appetizing, but you be surprise how it just works, its a bit sweet and tangy and it compliments the flavors of the ingredients perfectly. If its still sound off-putting, the beauty of this salad is that you can switch out the dressing for another type and it will be just as good. How about something like olive oil, Dijon mustard, honey and cider vinegar? Or maybe go with the oriental route and add ginger and replace the Dijon with soy sauce? Go crazy, that is what cooking is all about, experiment and make it your own.