Chili Today Wild Rice & Squash Salad

Makes about 7 cups; serves 6–8 as a side.  

Chili Today! lends its smoky, Tex-Mex flavor to this hearty salad that’s brightened with citrus. You can easily substitute small chunks of other types of squash or sweet potato for the delicata squash — the roasting time will differ, just keep a watchful eye.

For salad:
1 medium delicata squash, cut in half lengthwise and seeds removed 
2 cups very thin onion “half-moon” slices (about half a large white onion) 
2 tablespoons olive oil 
1 tablespoon vinegar (white wine or apple cider) 
4 teaspoons Chili Today! 
¼ teaspoon salt 
2 cups cooked wild rice blend (salted, still warm) 
1 orange, zest 
1 cup finely shredded kale 
1 mild chile, such as Anaheim or poblano, seeded and cut in slivers 
2 tablespoons pine nuts 
2 tablespoons dried Zante currants
Cilantro leaves to garnish, optional 

For dressing: 
2 tablespoon lemon juice 
¼ cup fresh orange juice 
1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard 
2 teaspoons honey 
1 Tablespoon olive oil 
Salt and black pepper, to taste  

Preheat the oven to 400° F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil (or oil it). Set aside. 

Cut the squash halves crosswise into crescent-shaped slices, about 1/8-in thick — you should have about 3 cups of squash slices. Put the squash and onion slices into a big mixing bowl. Add the oil, vinegar, Chili Today!, and salt; toss until the vegetables are coated with oil and seasoning. Transfer the vegetable slices to the sheet pan and spread them out to cover the pan.

Roast until the squash is tender and the onions tips are brown, 35–40 minutes. (About half-way through roasting, use a spatula to flip the squash and onions over so that they cook evenly.)

Meantime whisk the dressing ingredients together and set aside. 

Let the squash and onions cool until they’re warm but no longer hot. Put the rice, kale, pepper slices, and orange zest into a large mixing bowl. Add the squash-onion mixture, pine nuts, and currants to the bowl and toss gently to mix. Add the dressing and toss again. Taste for salt and acidity, adding more salt or lemon juice if needed. 

The salad is best served at room temperature. Covered, it will keep in the fridge for a day or two, but it may need another squeeze of lemon to refresh the flavors.


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