February 5, 2014

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Photo by Judith Hausman

Pumpkin and rice are winter comfort foods.

I love this pumpkin and rice winter salad recipe, a substantial cross between a salad and a side that makes use of long-keeping winter resources such as pumpkin and onions. Serve it room temperature accompanied by a green salad to make it a light lunch, or heat it up to round out grilled chicken or simply-prepared fish. 

It’s flexible; I used pumpkin but any winter squash will work, as will any grain. I used brown rice here, but quinoa, barley, buckwheat groats (kasha) or wheat berries (farro) will also be fine. No red onion? Try scallions or shallots instead and any other herbs (parsley, cilantro, oregano) or warm spices (curry, paprika, cumin) you like. Hold the feta to make it vegan.

Servings: 4 to 6

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup peeled pumpkin or other winter squash, cut in 1-inch chunks
  • 1 tablespoon canola or olive oil
  • 1/1/2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1/2 small red onion, sliced thinly
  • 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese

PREPARATION

Heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Spread the pumpkin chunks on a greased shallow pan, toss them with oil until well-coated and roast until they yield to a fork, about 20 to 30 minutes. Cool slightly.

Rewarm the rice, if desired. Toss the onions, rice and pumpkin chunks. Sprinkle with feta. 

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