This side salad is light, flavorful, crunchy and warm — everything you want in a salad. This could even turn around the broccoli haters at your table. It's easy to make most of the dish ahead of time, too.
Make ahead: The rice, vinaigrette and sunflower seeds can all be made ahead.
- 2 cups brown rice, cooked
- 1 head broccoli
- 1/2 delicata squash
- 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
- 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
- Canola oil
- Candied Sunflower Seeds (recipe follows)
- Lemon Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
Candied Sunflower Seeds
- 1 cup sunflower seeds
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 pinch cayenne peper
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1½ cups freshly squeezed and strained lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1½ cups neutral oil (preferably grapeseed)
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
For the salad:
1. Cook the rice according to package directions. (It's also OK to use leftover rice!) Pour two tablespoons oil into a warmed pot and fry the rice until crispy.
2. Preheat oven to 350°F.
3. Remove broccoli stalk and cut broccoli into bite-size pieces. Toss broccoli in oil, salt and pepper in a bowl and spread onto a sheet tray. Cut the delicata squash into cubes, toss in a bowl with oil, and spread onto another sheet tray. Roast broccoli and squash until tender and slightly charred, about 25 minutes.
4. Place fried rice into a large bowl and fold in squash and broccoli.
5. When ready to serve, combine remaining ingredients except the pomegranate seeds in a bowl and stir to combine. Sprinkle pomegranate seeds on top. Serve and enjoy!
For the candied sunflower seeds:
Lightly toast sunflower seeds in a skillet. Add sugar, salt, cayenne and oil and toss and stir over low heat until seeds begin to stick and clump and sugar begins to caramelize. Spread seeds onto a sheet pan and let cool. (Pop into a low oven for a few minutes if needed to dry out or refresh seeds before serving.)
For the vinaigrette:
Whisk lemon juice and salt to dissolve. Whisk in oils and pepper.