Rice with Roasted Squash, Dried Cranberries, and Sunflower Seeds
Yesterday I learned the French term l’esprit de l’escalier which is used to describe the problem of thinking of a perfect reply too late. Whether in an argument or casual conversation we all have those moments where minutes or hours later you finally think of what you wanted to say, only to have it no longer be relevant. My internet sleuthing can’t turn up a version of this phrase specific to food but if one existed I would use it here.
We made Thanksgiving dinner two months ago but with a small crowd (just four of us) I had to make some tough decisions on what sides to include. Our guests brought some delicious mashed potatoes and along with fresh bread (duh) and stuffing we served roasted Brussels sprouts. A week later I came across this dish with roasted squash and other great fall flavors that would have been a wonderful addition to the Thanksgiving table.
So naturally I did what anybody would in this situation: roasted another turkey! Post-Thanksgiving whole turkeys were still easy to come by and we were looking for things to fill the freezer. As expected this dish was a fantastic companion to the turkey and I think it would be a welcome addition to most meals this time of year. There is a small amount of maple syrup in the dressing that helps give it that great fall/winter flavor.
Going back to our original Thanksgiving dinner…how am I just realizing that it is spelled Brussels sprouts?? When you say Brussel sprouts and Brussels sprouts they sound the same because the ‘s’ in sprouts blends the words. But still…you’d think I would have noticed by now. Who knows what other foods I could be spelling wrong?!
- 1 butternut squash, cored and diced into 1" pieces
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup rice, uncooked
- 2 cups water
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- ½ cup toasted sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- ½ teaspoon water
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400 F.
- Place butternut squash on a large baking sheet lined with a baking mat or parchment paper. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with nutmeg. Toss until squash is well coated. Roast the squash for 30-40 minutes, stirring once, until tender.
- While the butternut squash roasts cook the rice. In a medium pot, bring rice and water to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer, covered until all the water has been absorbed; about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and fluff with a fork.
- In a large bowl, combine rice, roasted butternut squash, dried cranberries, and toasted sunflower seeds.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, cider vinegar, water, and maple syrup. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Drizzle over rice salad. Toss until ingredients are well dressed.
- Serve warm or chilled.