Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Spicy Squash Salad with Wild Rice and Parsley

I barely have time to cook. Or rather I barely had time to cook. Having three presentations at college in a row (one per week) is just not such a great idea. Taking up another little job, writing for a homepage, at the same time might not be the clever idea I thought it was.
Many things got neglected in the meantime, I had almost no time to enjoy fall until now and I had to work all weekend long. Tomorrow, after my presentation about the 'Greening of Protestant Thought', this should be over. There will still be things to read, translations to make and classes to visit, but I'll have my weekends back.

One thing I did try to keep up doing is preparing lunch to take to college or to work. I made "salads", mostly. My definition of salad is somewhat loose, though. I usually don't add a real dressing, so a salad is more a cold meal that was planned to be eaten cold (in contrast to left-overs).
For today I prepared this squash salad. I saw the recipe on The Moveable Feasts, it is from Bon Appetit originally.
I did not have smoked paprika on hand and could not find it in the supermarket I went to, so I had to do without. I also decided early on that I wanted to add lots of parsley. (This is probably because I saw a recipe in one of Jamie Oliver's books, that used tarragon as main salad ingredient. Really interesting idea!)
And I swapped out the lentils for a wild rice mix (this is just regular rice and wild rice mixed, I think it was something like a 8:2 ratio)
It is a lovely little fall salad, way better than anything I could get to eat here for lunch...

Do you prepare lunch to take to work or to college? And what do you prepare if you do?

Spicy Squash Salad with Wild Rice and Parsley
(Adapted from a recipe that was originally from Bon Appetit via Smittenkitchen and The Moveable Feasts)
1 butternut squash (if yours is huge, you might only want to use a part of it, but just go ahead and roast the entire thing and then make something like these pumpkin pappardelle I just found this morning at Cinnamon & Milk)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon hot paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
~120g rice, regular rice or a mix like I used. I have no experience cooking with wild rice only...
1 handful parsley, coarsely chopped
~2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
goat's cheese (I used 80g because that is what I had, but you might want to use more if you love it just as much as I do...)

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Put a pot of water (for the rice) on the stove at the same time, bring it to a boil. Peel your squash, remove the seeds and then cut it into cubes. Throw the cubes into a mixing bowl, add olive oil and the spices and mix this well. Arrange on a baking sheet, in one layer, and bake for about 20 minutes. Take them out of the oven and let them cool completely.
Prepare your rice once you have taken care of the squash. Cook it until tender (about 20 minutes for mine), drain it and let it cool too.
I prepared this the day before, but you could also do it just an hour before you plan to eat it.
Chop the parsley, throw it in a mixing bowl together with the rice and the squash, add the vinegar and some olive oil if you want. Mix this gently, crumble the goat's cheese on top and serve or put in a container to take it to work, like I did.

Serves 2.


  1. The salad looks lovely, Lena. It seems as though everyone is cooking with squash this week!
    I live so close to school that I can usually come home for lunch. However, one of my classes this quarter is smack in the middle of when I'd usually have lunch, so I've been taking lunch to class lately. Do you have Heidi Swanson's Super Natural Every Day? If so, you should check out the kale salad recipe in the lunch section. My favourite school lunch that I've made so far was making that salad, frying thinly sliced tofu until golden brown, and tossing all of that with soba noodles. The kale salad on its own is just crazily addictive. Soy sauce, kale, and coconut flakes are a brilliant combination--something about the saltiness and the coconut is really amazing.

  2. I really really can relate with having to much to do to even breath, let alone cook!!! Looks like you managed to make great food despite your busy-ness though!

  3. Everyone is cooking with squash this week/month. It's irresistible. I need to confess: I have a squash problem. These pics aren't helping.

    It sounds delicious, Lena. I adore the taste of paprika with squash. I'll have to give this one a try, soon.

  4. Katie: I just ordered Heidi's Super Natural Every Day after I read your comment. The kale salad recipe sounds like something I'd love, and I just love Heidi's recipes in general.
    You really have to make the most of the squash season, I already miss my tomatoes and the fresh fruit, but squash makes me happy.

  5. This looks fantastic. It's got so many things that I love to eat! What a great fall salad.