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Wild, Red and Brown Rice Salad with Roasted Pumpkin

This rice bowl recipe makes a great side for a crowd at a BBQ or for a supper in itself. Best enjoyed in the late summer, early autumn when the pumpkin is coming into season.

From the book


This is especially good late in the summer when you know autumn is on the way. The colours are really something and it’s perfect with barbecued pork dishes.

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For the dressing:
3 tbsp cider vinegar
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 tsp soft light brown sugar
180ml extra-virgin olive oil
For the rice:
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 cinnamon stick, halved
5 allspice berries, crushed
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp chilli flakes
500g mixed brown basmati, red and wild rice
1 litre light chicken or vegetable stock
1 bay leaf
2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
50g pistachios, chopped
For the pumpkin:
750g sweet pumpkin or squash, peeled, seeded and cut into wedges or chunks
75ml olive oil
2 tbsp clear honey
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar


1. Make the dressing so that it’s ready when you need it – just put all the ingredients in a jam jar and give it a good shake.

2. For the rice, heat the oil in a pan and gently sauté the onion until soft and pale gold. Add the cinnamon, allspice, ginger and chilli and cook for about 1 minute to release the fragrance. Pour in the rice, stir to coat in the oil and then add the chicken stock and bay leaf. Bring to the boil, turn down the heat and briskly simmer until the rice is tender and the stock is absorbed, about 45 minutes. (These types of rice never soften in the way white rice does.) Keep an eye on the liquid to make sure the rice doesn’t dry out or burn. When ready, immediately toss with two-thirds of the dressing.

3. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4. Put the pumpkin or squash in a roasting tin. Mix the oil, honey and vinegar together and drizzle over the pumpkin. Roast for about 20 minutes, or until the pumpkin is completely tender and slightly caramelized. Add the pumpkin to the rice salad with the parsley and pistachios. Serve immediately or at room temperature.


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