JJ Johnson's Crispy Rice, Broccoli and Squash Salad
Anne Burrell's Standing Rib Roast, Jerome Grant's Ham, Thomas McKenna's Roasted Chicken, Evette Rios' Cheese Dip, JJ Johnson's Crispy Rice with Broccoli and Sunflower Seeds, Gaby Dalkin's Brussels Sprouts, Marcus Samuelsson's Spiced Holiday Cookies, Chloe
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Rating:
4.0 (1 rated)

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. 

Ingredients

  • Salad

    • 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
  • Lemon vinaigrette

    • 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

Preparation

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.

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