Photo: Annabelle Breakey; Styling: Kevin Crafts
Total Time
1 Hour 30 Mins
Serves 3 as a main course, or 4 to 6 as a side (serving size: 1 cup)

Dramatic-looking black rice--which has a mellow, sweet taste--comes from several places in the world, including Thailand and Indonesia. If you can't find it, wild, brown, or red rice would also work (cook according to package directions).

How to Make It

Step 1

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the rice, adjust heat to maintain a lively simmer, and cook until rice is tender, about 30 minutes. Drain and rinse with cool water.

Step 2

Preheat oven to 375°. Peel and seed squash and cut into 1-in. cubes. In a large bowl, toss squash with paprika, salt, and 1 tbsp. oil. Spread on a baking sheet in a single layer and roast, stirring occasionally, until browned and tender, about 40 minutes. Let cool. Spread pecans on another baking sheet and toast until fragrant, stirring once, 6 to 8 minutes.

Step 3

Whisk together remaining 2 tbsp. oil, the lemon juice, maple syrup, and pepper in a serving bowl. Toss with reserved rice, roasted squash, green onions, and most of pecans and pomegranate seeds. Sprinkle with remaining pecans and pomegranate seeds.

Step 4

*Find black rice and smoked Spanish paprika at Whole Foods Market or other well-stocked grocery stores.

Step 5

Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving.

Ratings & Reviews

November 05, 2015
update: warmed this up for lunch and it was actually significantly better tasting. I wouldn't make it again because I find the chewy/crunchyness of the pomegranate seeds annoying. Otherwise yum!

Easy Rice Dish to Impress

November 24, 2016
This is one of my favorite side dishes and one I always go back to when I want a dish that will not only impress visually but wow with a variety of flavors and textures. I always go a little heavy on the maple syrup (I can't get enough) and light on the onions (my wife is not a fan of onions) but great as posted.

Looks better than it tastes

November 03, 2015
This recipe was way more work than it's worth. It looks beautiful but tastes kind of off. The dressing is really strange and the tastes just don't mesh too well. Honestly, the pomegrantate seeds and the pecans really save this one for me.  I had it cold/lukewarm. I guess I'll try warming it up as others have suggested. 

janerj's Review

November 14, 2014

ElizaThorn's Review

October 05, 2014
Beautiful looking. Delicious, fresh salad for a hot summer day.

KarenWard's Review

January 24, 2013
This is my new favorite recipe! So yummy! The smokiness of the paprika with the contrast of sweet squash and dressing make it a hit. Also the chewy rice and crunchy seeds and nuts are heaven to the pallet. Go make this now!!!

Cansas's Review

December 07, 2012

livgirl's Review

November 18, 2012

lhc815's Review

November 13, 2012
Fantastic salad! Delicious and beautiful! Made it for a dinner party and it was a HUGE hit with everyone, even the kids. I used a bit more squash than called for and a combo of regular paprika, nutmeg and garam masala instead of smoked paprika. If you're not familiar with black rice, it's a really tasty grain with a slightly sweet, nutty flavor, so it works great in this salad. Be sure to rinse it well before cooking it. I recommend letting the salad sit for a few hours to let the flavors mix before serving.

CarolCasparian's Review

September 13, 2012
This was a delicious salad! My husband and I loved it and I used my pressure cooker to cook the black rice even faster. Worked like a charm. We loved the blending of the flavors, the slight sweetness to the salad and plan to make it again. That was all we had for dinner and it made a great light supper! I can't wait to share it with my friends!