Butternut Squash and Black Rice with Almonds and Pomegranate Seeds
January 25, 2012
Some weeks (or strings of weeks) are just so busy and stressful at work that I don’t have the energy to do much for dinner. The past couple of weeks have been like that. I attempted to make a few new things, but lacked the energy to photograph and document them.
On weeks like that, it seems the best thing to do is to pull out some good old standbys, or try some fairly simple recipes from magazines or cookbooks. One of the highlights of this week turned out to be what I feared would be the least exciting. I make a lot of dishes using butternut squash, so I didn’t anticipate this one to be that different or interesting, but it really was. I used the recipe for Black rice salad with butternut squash and pomegranate seeds in the January 2012 issue of Sunset magazine. I give all credit for the flavors to Sunset, but I did make a few changes. First, the butternut squash at the grocery store have been huge lately, so I think I used about 2-3 times more squash than the recipe called for. I tend to use more vegetables than recipes call for anyhow — that way I get to eat more, since it’s lower calorie, nutritious vegetation! I used three times the amount of hot smoked paprika (which probably follows since I used about that much more squash). Instead of cooking the rice in salted water, I used stock, to give it more flavor. Since the recipe called for a pretty small amount of pecans, instead of buying a whole bag (and hating to buy 3 tablespoons in ‘bulk’), I used a small amount of some great honey/sugar roasted almonds that I had on hand. My last change was to use only 1/2 of the olive oil called for in the dressing.
I was really pleased with how this turned out, and it was relatively simple to make. I roasted the squash the night before and refrigerated it, so aide from cooking the rice, there was very little to do the next night – just a small bit of chopping. And it was gorgeous looking. And, even more important, quite tasty. Definitely a keeper.
I’m going to go sit on the couch now.