You will need:
– 1 cup of black rice
– 1 small butternut, acorn, or any type of squash, peeled, seeds removed, and diced (about 2 cups)
– extra virgin olive oil
– salt + pepper
– 2 large handfuls of spinach
– 1 small red onion, sliced
– grapeseed (or other neutral high heat oil)
– 2 tablespoons of sesames seeds
– 1/4 cup of pumpkin seeds
For the sesame ginger dressing:
– 1/2 inch piece of ginger, peeled
– 1 small shallot
– 1 garlic clove, peeled
– 1 teaspoon of honey
– 1 tablespoon of lime juice
– 2 tablespoons of toasted sesame oil
– 1 teaspoon of tamari (OR 1/2 teaspoon of salt)
– 3-4 tablespoons of grapeseed or sunflower oil
*Pre-heat the oven to 350º
Cook the rice:
Place the rice into a medium sauce pan with 1 3/4 cup of water, bring to a boil, cover, reduce to a simmer, and cook for 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to sit covered for at least 10 minutes, or until you’re ready to assemble the salad.
Toast and grind the seeds + roast the squash:
Place the sesame seeds and pumpkin seeds onto a baking sheet and bake for 7-8 minutes (until light brown). Remove and turn the oven temp up to 425º (for the squash).
Then, using a mortar and pestle, grind the seeds until you have a fine crumble.
Place the squash onto a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 25-30 minutes until soft and golden brown. Set aside, covered if you like, until you’re ready to assemble.
While the rice and squash are cooking, make your dressing (you can also do this a few hours or days in advance):
Place all of the ingredients for the dressing, except for the grapeseed oil, into a food processor. Pulse a few times to chop and incorporate, and then run the food processor continuously while you add the oil a tablespoon at a time until you have a creamy and pourable, consistency. Taste and adjust any seasoning necessary (sometimes I feel it might need a slight lime or salt adjustment).
Sauté the spinach and onions:
Heat the about 2 tablespoons of oil in a cast iron over medium heat. Add the onion, and cook for several minutes until very soft. Then add the spinach and cook for about 2 minutes until just wilted. Remove from the heat and season with a pinch or two of salt.
Place the rice, squash, and sautéed spinach into a large bowl with about half of the dressing and half of the pumpkin seed crumble and toss to combine. Plate the salad onto individual plates, and spoon some additional dressing on top and finish with an additional sprinkle of the pumpkin seed crumble.
Resource: What’s cooking Good Looking