We finally have fall weather here in San Diego and I’m enjoying autumn vegetables. This side dish features butternut squash, chick peas and black rice, and is warm and cozy. The clementine vinaigrette gives it a sweet bite and pine nuts make it extra rich. I love the bright and warm combination of citrus and fennel. To me it tastes sunny and cozy and wintery all at once.
A fellow food blogger invited me to participate in a recipe challenge from Melissa’s. Melissa’s sent us a box of fresh and seasonal produce and we were challenged to come up with a recipe featuring at least 2 or 3 of the items, sort of like “Chopped.” (FCC Disclaimer: I received the box for free, but have not otherwise been compensated. Opinions and recipe development are entirely mine.) I immediately gravitated to a beautiful butternut squash, pine nuts and cranberries. Unfortunately, Little Bird also gravitated to the cranberries… and ate the entire bag in a few minutes.
I decided to add the garbanzo beans for extra protein. I usually cook with dried beans, and start from scratch, but the convenience of the vacuum sealed beans was nice and the taste was a step up from a can. Apart from throwing the rice in the rice cooker, the only “cooking” was chopping and roasting the squash. Little Bird enjoying shaking up the vinaigrette in a jar.
Keep reading for a printable recipe plus more fall dishes.
- 1 medium butternut squash
- 1 teaspoon of coconut oil
- sprinkle of salt and pepper
- ½ cup of black rice
- 1 cup of water
- ¼ cup of olive oil (good quality)
- ¼ cup of light vinegar (i.e. a white balsamic)
- juice and zest of 1 clementine orange
- 1 teaspoon mustard
- 1 shallot, finely diced
- sprinkle of salt and pepper
- 12 oz cooked, drained and rinsed garbanzo beans
- ¼ cup of pine nuts
- 2 clementines, peeled and chopped
- fennel fronds as garnish
- Preheat oven to 400*F. Peel and chop the squash. Reserving the seeds. Place in a single layer on a silicon-lined baking sheet. Spray with a little coconut oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for about 40 minutes or until fork-tender.
- While squash is baking. Cook ½ cup of rice with 1 cup of water.
- In a jar, add the olive oil, vinegar, clementine juice and zest, mustard, shallot, and salt and pepper. Shake well until combined.
- Mix the cooked squash, rice, chickpeas, pine nuts, clementines and fennel, with the dressing. Tip: start with just ⅓ to ½ of the dressing. Depending on your tastes, you won't need it all.
- Optional topping: roast the reserved butternut squash seeds. Click here for instructions. The seeds did not make the photo, but added a welcomed crunch.
- Serve slightly warm and enjoy!
Thanks again to Melissa’s for the beautiful veggies. I also enjoyed the potatoes smashed in a recipe from Pioneer Woman, and used fresh pearl onions with some good French wine in a Coq Au Vin. I’m saving black eyed peas for my Hoppin’ John.
You can see all the recipes my fellow bloggers came up with below.
Please pin to save the recipes! Thank you.