Spiced roasted butternut squash and black rice salad

Guest chef recipe

Serve this Middle Eastern salad with Sabrina’s herb koftas and mama ghanoush dip for the ultimate mezze meal.

Preparation time
less than 30 mins

Cooking time
30 mins to 1 hour

Serves 6–8


By Sabrina Ghayour
From Saturday Kitchen


  • 1kg/2lb 4oz butternut squash, peeled, halved, deseeded and cut into 1.5cm/⅝in slices
  • olive oil, for roasting
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 250g/9oz black rice
  • 1 large red onion, finely chopped
  • 100g/3½oz dried cranberries
  • 50g/1¾oz flaked almonds
  • 250g/9oz pomegranate seeds
  • 30g/1oz fresh flatleaf parsley, leaves picked and finely chopped
  • sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper

For the dressing

  • 3 tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp honey or maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp vegan red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon


  1. Preheat the oven to 220C/200C Fan/Gas 7. Line a large baking tray with baking paper.

  2. Place the butternut squash pieces on the lined tray and drizzle generously with olive oil. Mix the spices together and sprinkle over the squash pieces, then use your hands to evenly coat them in the oil and spice mix. Spread out in a single layer, season with salt and pepper and roast for 40 minutes or until starting to brown at the edges.

  3. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.

  4. Cook the rice according to the packet instructions, then rinse in cold water until cooled. Drain and set aside.

  5. Mix the red onion, cranberries, flaked almonds, pomegranate seeds and parsley (reserving a little for garnish) in a bowl, then add the rice. Mix all the ingredients for the dressing together, then pour over the salad and stir in. Season generously with salt and pepper, mix again and leave to rest for 15 minutes.

  6. Stir again, taste and adjust the seasoning if desired. Serve the rice salad with the roasted butternut squash arranged on top and scattered with the reserved parsley.

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