Harvest Rice Salad

I have been making this dish for several years and to my clients and friends in San Luis Obispo, yes this is the dish from the Thanksgiving Special back in 2005.

This salad is earthy and pretty- perfect for Thanksgiving or Holiday parties, especially if you have any Gluten-Free or Vegan guests this year. Although please note, most Vegans would not eat the honey, so just substitute agave nectar. You could even stuff this in a baked squash.

I want to give a shout out of thanks to my friend Kelly who made this dish for the photo shoot! A few months ago she moved in to a great new house with a kitchen in desperate need of a remodel-- as in they could not use the oven or stove for months because of electrical scariness. They have become very savvy on their BBQ and a little electric two burner and hosted many a great meal for us. I roasted the butternut squash for this dish otherwise she did the rest and that is her pretty bowl as well. Thank you Kelly- can't wait to cook with you in your new kitchen!

Harvest Rice Salad
1 1/2 cups brown and wild rice mixture
1 pound butternut squash, peeled and diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small red onion, diced
2 green onions, sliced
3 celery ribs, diced
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 cup pecans
1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped fine

1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons honey or agave nectar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sage, rubbed
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cook rice in 3 cups of water until it is absorbed, about 45 minutes. Transfer to bowl, fluff and let cool.

Meanwhile, toss diced butternut squash with oil and place on a greased baking sheet.
Roast until soft and browned, about 30-40 minutes. Add to rice.

Add all the vegetables, the cranberries and the nuts to the rice. Toss.

Whisk the oil, vinegar, honey/agave nectar, salt and sage and pepper until well blended, pour over the salad and toss.

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