Monday, October 10, 2011

Forbidden Black Rice in Roasted Acorn Squash

For the name alone, this recipe deserves to be attempted. Beyond the intriguing name, this dish is a stand-alone on taste. And, lovely to present. Tips - make sure the squash is really, really roasted through. And, consider covering each individual squash with foil to further prevent drying out. It's important that it stay moist, since the rest of the dish is heavy on texture, given that it is rice.

p.s. Yes, goji berries are quite the rage right now. But, you don't have to pay Whole Foods prices to get them. Head to your local Mediterranean grocery (if you have one), where goji berries are a staple in recipes, and not a trendy "anti-oxidant." (Not that there's anything wrong with that.)

Forbidden Black Rice Nestled in Roasted Acorn Squash
Mars Venus Living blog

2 acorn squash
salt and pepper
coconut oil
1/2 tsp five-spice powder (which I do not have - I used a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, and fennel)
1/2 tsp thyme, chopped (I used a dash of dried)

1 c forbidden rice (black rice)
1 3/4 c water
1 T garlic, minced
2 T olive oil
1/4 c pine nuts
1/4 c goji berries, chopped
3/4 c spinach, raw, chopped
1/4 c basil, chopped
2 T scallion, chopped
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350. Split squash in half horizontally and remove seeds. Place squash halves in a baking dish. Brush with coconut oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper and spices. 

Cover with foil and roast for about 30 minutes, or until tender. Remove foil and continue to roast, uncovered, 8-10 minutes more, or until browned and tender when pierced.

Meanwhile, in a 1.5-quart saucepan, bring rice and water to a boil. Add garlic. Cover and cook over low for 30 minutes, or until water is almost evaporated. Rice should be fork-tender.

Remove pan from heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes. Gently stir in olive oil, scallion, pine nuts, Goji berries, and spinach. Salt and pepper to taste.

Scoop rice into squash. Garnish with basil. Drizzle with olive oil and serve.

Note - if you used enamelware for your rice, then your pot is likely stained by now. Fear not! Just fill with water and let soak. I boiled the water and added baking soda to help release the discoloration.

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