A few posts back, I admitted that I'm not a huge rice fan and don't make it very often. I usually tend to pass rice recipes by in magazines and cookbooks. However, in my last Vegetarian Times magazine, I saw an ad for Lundberg Family Rice's Roasted Squash and Wild Rice Salad. It looked so good! So I got online and googled the salad, and found not only the Lundberg version, but another recipe on 101 Cookbooks. I decided to kind of combine the two and add a few of own ideas.
I used a large kabocha squash to make this salad, but any variety will work! I loved the idea from 101 Cookbooks using whole roasted shallots, so I added those as well. For protein, I almost fell back on my old stand-bys, garbanzo or tofu, but I decided to try something different. Since I was making a rice dish, I felt like Black-eyed Peas would be a great pairing. Though all beans taste relatively the same, these were delicious in this dish. Finally, I sprinkled the dish with cranberries and cilantro for some sweetness and a bright punch of flavor. It was a very balanced dish, and I can finally say my rice came out great!
Roasted Kabocha and Wild Rice Salad with Black-eyed Peas
2 c. prepared Wild Rice blend cooked in vegetable stock
*I used 2/3 c. rice and 2 c. stock and it came out perfectly
2 lbs. kabocha, peeled and cubed
10 small shallots, peeled
1 tbsp. EVOO
Kosher salt and pepper
2 c. black eyed peas, cooked, or 1 15 oz. can drained and rinsed
1/4 c. dried cranberries
1/4 c. chopped cilantro
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp. honey
Preheat oven to 400*
Line a baking sheet with foil, add squash and shallots, drizzle with EVOO, sprinkle with salt and pepper, toss well.
Place in the oven and roast for 30 minutes, until tender and caramelized.
While roasting squash, cook rice.
When rice is tender and fluffy, add lemon juice and honey, toss to distribute.
Add black eyed peas, gently fold in to heat through.
Scoop half of the rice into a serving dish, layer with half the kabocha, then the rest of the rice, then the kabocha and shallots.
Sprinkle with cilantro and cranberries, serve warm.
FYI - Look for details coming soon about a blogger bakesale hosted on Veggie by Season. If you would like to bake something for the cause (injured, stray dog I found and will be taking to the vet Saturday), please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org