Black & white rice salad with cumin-roasted butternut squash

This vibrant Persian side salad is studded with dried fruit, nuts and seeds and finished with crumbled feta – ideal to take along to a Christmas buffet

  • Prep:15 mins
    Cook:35 mins
  • Easy

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 400
  • fat 16g
  • saturates 2g
  • carbs 56g
  • sugars 28g
  • fibre 4g
  • protein 6g
  • salt 0.1g


  • 1 small butternut squash (about 375g/13oz), peeled and cubed
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 250g basmati & wild rice
  • 140g dried cranberries
  • 200g pomegranate seeds
  • 100g blanched hazelnuts, toasted and halved
  • small pack dill, leaves and stalks finely chopped
  • small pack flat-leaf parsley, leaves and stalks finely chopped
  • 1 large red onion, finely diced
  • 200g feta, to serve
  • zest and juice 1 large unwaxed orange
  • 4 tbsp clear honey
  • 4-5 tbsp sherry vinegar
  • 4 tbsp olive oil


To transport

This dish is ideal for taking along to a dinner party or buffet. To keep the salad looking fresh, it’s best to dress it just before serving. Pack the salad into a big container and take the dressing in a jam jar. Toss it together just before serving, and scatter with feta at the last minute.


  1. Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7 and line a baking tray with baking parchment. Put the squash on the baking tray, drizzle over the olive oil, scatter on the cumin seeds and season generously – use your hands to ensure each piece is evenly coated with oil and seasoning. Roast for 30-35 mins until the edges are caramelised, then remove from the oven and leave to cool.

  2. Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Cook the rice for 20-25 mins or according to pack instructions, then strain and rinse well with cold water until all the starch is washed off and the rice is cold. Allow to drain well.

  3. Put the cranberries, pomegranate seeds, hazelnuts, herbs, onion and rice in a large bowl and mix well. Make the dressing by combining all the ingredients in a bowl with a generous amount of seasoning to taste. Once the squash is completely cool, gently mix it into the bowl of other ingredients. Pour over the dressing, mix well and serve on a large platter with the feta crumbled over the top.

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