Forbidden Rice with Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Squash and Pecans
October 25, 2013
Aunt Suzy says . . .
When I saw this recipe, I knew I had to make it – after all, I had the exact amount of Forbidden Black Rice sitting in my cupboard from a whirl with a so-so recipe this summer. Even though I didn’t like the previous dish, I was introduced to the unusual floral flavor and wonderful mouth appeal of this new-to-me rice variety. This blend of favorite ingredients and flavors looked like a can’t-miss. In addition to the squash and pecans, I added another seasonal favorite, good old Brussels. It only occurred to me after making it, that it’s perfect for Halloween with it’s black and orange color scheme. Whether you make this as part of a Halloween spread or for dinner as a side to roast something (we served with roast chicken), I know you’ll enjoy.
1 small butternut squash, peeled and cubed (about 2 cups)
1 pound small Brussels sprouts, bottoms removed and cut in half (about 3 cups)
Olive oil for roasting
2 tablespoons butter or olive oil or a combo
2 shallots, peeled and minced
1 1/2 cups forbidden black rice
2 1/2 cups water
Zest of 1 orange
1 heaping tablespoon fresh thyme leaves (or 2 teaspoons dried)
1 cup pecan halves, toasted and chopped
Salt and Pepper
Roast the vegetables:
Preheat the oven to 425F. Line a baking sheet with foil and drizzle with olive oil. Place the squash cubes on the foil and toss to coat with the oil. Roast for 15 min, stir and roast for another 5-10 min. Remove from oven and turn out onto a platter. Do the same for the Brussels sprouts, but roast for 10 min, stir and roast for another 5-10 min. Turn out onto a platter.
Cook the rice:
Rinse the rice thoroughly in a mesh sieve and set aside to drain. Set a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the butter and/or olive oil and heat till bubbling or shimmering if using oil. Add the shallot and saute for 2 minutes. Add the rice, stir and saute for another 2-3 minutes, until fragrant. Add the water and 1 teaspoon salt,. Bring to a boil, stir, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 30-40 minutes until water is completely absorbed. Let stand for 10 minutes, then fluff with a fork.
Assemble the dish:
In a large bowl, combine the cooked rice, the roasted vegetables, the orange zest and thyme. Stir to combine. Add the pecans and stir again until just combined. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm.
NOTES ON INGREDIENTS: The original recipe did not call for the Brussels sprouts, so if these aren’t a favorite for you, they can be omitted. Black rice is available in both bulk and packaged at our local co-op, so if you have a co-op or health food store locally you can check there. I highly recommend seeking it out. It’s available online directly from Lotus Foods. Short grain brown rice or one of the black or rice blends from Lundberg could be a good substitute.