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Warm Brown Rice & Butternut Squash

  • 4 cups (½ to ¾-inch-diced) butternut squash (1½ pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons plus ½ cup good olive oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup, divided
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1½ cups brown rice, such as Texmati long-grain basmati
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon good white wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard, such as Grey Poupon
  • 4 scallions, thinly cut diagonally, white and green parts
  • 2/3 cup dried cranberries
  • ½ cup salted Marcona almonds

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Place the butternut squash on a sheet pan. Add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, 1 tablespoon of the maple syrup, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Toss together, spread out in a single layer, and roast for 30 minutes, tossing twice, until tender and starting to brown.

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, combine the rice, 3¼ cups water, and 1½ teaspoons salt. Bring to a boil, stir, lower the heat, cover, and simmer for 25 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow the rice to sit with the lid on for 10 minutes. (This will differ from the directions on the package.) If there is liquid left in the pot, drain the rice.

For the vinaigrette, in a glass measuring cup, whisk together the remaining 1 tablespoon of maple syrup, the orange juice, balsamic vinegar, white wine vinegar, mustard, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Slowly whisk in ½ cup olive oil and set aside.

Pour the warm rice into a large serving bowl. Add most of the vinaigrette and combine. Add the squash, scallions, dried cranberries, and almonds and toss well. (As the dish sits, it may need the extra vinaigrette.) Taste for seasonings and serve warm or at room temperature.

Copyright 2018, Cook Like a Pro, Clarkson Potter/Publishers, All Rights Reserved

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