Roasted Delicata Squash with Black Rice, Cherries, & Pistachios
This beautiful multi-colored dish is rich in plant protectors and fiber. Winter squash is an excellent source of antioxidant carotenoids, which provide the deep orange color. The black (or Imperial) rice contains blue color pigments known as anthocyanins, a type of antioxidant flavonoid. Onions, parsley, and cherries are also rich in protective flavonoids, and the pistachios provide healthy fat that lends a satisfying richness to this dish. While the sugar content of this recipe is relatively high, the fiber and healthy fat will help to modulate blood sugar.
- 2 med Delicata squash
- 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (divided)
- 2 cups cooked black (“Imperial”) rice
- 1½ cups chopped onions or shallots
- 2 cups chopped celery
- ½ tsp dried thyme
- ½ tsp dried sage
- 1 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1 cup shelled pistachios, roasted & lightly salted
- 1 cup (about 4 oz) dried pitted tart Montmorency cherries
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- ½ tsp salt
Heat oven to 425 degrees F. Scrub outside of Delicata squash. Peel off any moldy or discolored skin. Cut off both ends. Half and remove seed from squash and cut into 1-inch crescent-shaped pieces. Toss squash in 2 tbsp olive oil and add salt and pepper to taste. Pour into oven proof pan, spreading out the squash to make a single layer. Bake for about 35 minutes until squash is nicely browned and soft when pierced with a knife.
While the squash is roasting, prepare the rice mixture. Sautee the onions and celery in the remaining 2 tbsp olive oil until the onions are translucent and slightly golden brown. Add the rice, thyme, sage, parsley, pistachios, cherries, syrup, and salt. Cover and let simmer together for 5-10 minutes at very lower heat.
When squash is roasted, remove from oven and pour the rice mixture over the squash. Makes 6 servings. Each serving provides about 425 calories, 9g protein, 19g fat (3g sat), 0 mg cholesterol, 58g carbohydrate, 17g sugar, 11g fiber, 125 mg calcium, 105 mg magnesium, 130 mg sodium, and 840 mg potassium.