I was at Kalustyans a while back and grabbed a bag of interesting looking red, Thai sticky rice. It’s been sitting at home for months, where I saw it on the back of the shelf whenever I was pushing peanut butter jars and dried beans out of the way looking for brown rice. I finally gave up trying to ignore that it was there and decided to figure out a great way to use it.
Instead of steaming the red sticky rice, I covered it with generous amounts of water and simmered it lightly for 20 minutes. While that was going on, I soaked a cup of dried cranberries in warm water to soften them up. I lightly sauted some onions and garlic, tossed them in a bowl with a little orange juice and lemon juice, a couple good shakes of cumin powder, cinnamon and two ground up cardamon pods. Figuring I’d need a little more contrasting color, I chopped up a handful of parsley
While the rice was cooking, I cubed a small butternut squash, tossed it with a tablespoon of olive oil and baked it in the oven on 425 for 15 minutes. This was going to be the great way to “crown” the serving dish.
When the rice was done, I stirred it up well with the juice mixture, the drained cranberries and salt/pepper. The rice needed to sit a couple minute to absorb the flavors of the juices, so I took that time to pan roast a hand full of chopped walnuts, throwing them into the rice for a little added crunch.
After transferring the warm rice salad to a good sized serving bowl, all that was left was to “crown” the dish with the roasted butternut squash. The family gave me high marks on this one. A good, filling, warm salad that is extremely light on the budget. This one’s a keeper.
Resources: The idea for this dish came from “What would Cathy eat?“,