Black Rice Salad with Autumn Squash

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Dramatic colors, sweet, salty, bitter and crunchy ... and so good!

Serves 4 as an entree or 6 to 8 as a side

  • 3 Tbls. ghee, olive oil, or butter
  • 1/4 cup minced onion or shallot
  • 3 cups cooked black rice (cooked in a rice cooker or stove top according to package)   
  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and diced into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 to 4 Tbls. unsalted butter
  • 4 oz. smoked bacon
  • 1 large bunch or bag of arugula, washed 

Vinaigrette:

  • 1/2 Tbls. Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbls. white wine or champagne vinegar
  • 2 Tbls. good olive oil
  • S&P

Roast the squash:

Preheat oven to 375˚F. Toss squash with 1 Tbls. olive oil and a pinch of salt. Place on parchment-lined sheet pan and roast until tender, about 10-15 minutes.

Meanwhile, cut the bacon into lardons or 1/4-inch thick slices. Place in a single layer in a frying pan and cook over medium heat for 10-12 minutes until crisp on the outside and tender on the inside. Transfer to a paper towel to drain. Pour all but 1 Tbls. bacon fat in a small bowl and reserve.

Sauté the onion in the pan until translucent. Toss onion with warm rice.

Make the vinaigrette:

In a small bowl, whisk mustard, a pinch of salt and vinegar. Whisking, slowly add 1 Tbls. of the bacon fat and the 2 Tbls. of olive oil. Whisk until well blended. Season to taste.

To serve:

Toss the squash, bacon and arugula with the vinaigrette and set aside. Stir butter to taste into the warm rice. Portion the rice in bowls or a platter. Top with squash-arugula-bacon mixture and serve.

Note:

  • Rice can be rewarmed.
  • Squash can be done ahead and left at room temp.
  • Dressing can be made ahead and left at room temp.