Wild rice, kale and roasted squash salad with avocado and chilli dressing


So I have landed in my new home…beautiful Wanaka, New Zealand! After falling in love with the place 2 months ago when visiting for a friends wedding, and meeting a certain someone I made the decision to be totally spontaneous and move. If you make these kind of decisions quick then I feel like you have less time to think them through properly. So I packed up my life in Switzerland into my teeny little Polo, not sure how I managed to fit everything in but it happened. Then I drove across France to get back to the UK, which was just a casual 20 hour drive after getting nailed in traffic as soon as the ferry pulled up in Dover. I spent the next week hanging out in Ibiza with my family at my brothers ridiculous house that he built, soaking up as much sun as I could before emigrating to another winter….this is where my decision lacks any logic!

I spent my last week catching up with friends and family, receiving grillings and interviews about why oh why I am suddenly running to the other side of the world. Unpacking to pack again, and selling all kinds of things that wouldn’t quite fit in my suitcase.

And now I have made it to my new home….and it’s COLD! I mean it’s beautiful and amazing like you wouldn’t believe and I am extremely excited to be here. However it feels funny leaving the excitement that spring brings of longer days to then be curled back up in front of the fire thinking of winter warmers. And sadly for my lovely readers in the northern hemisphere my recipes are all going to be back to front with Autumn kicking in instead of Summer recipes.

So here is a delicious autumn salad, full of all kinds of healthiness with a little chilli kick to warm you up if like me your thermalled up to the max, or you just live in England where it’s cold most of the time!

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Serves 4 as a main

3/4 cup wild rice/black rice/brown rice
1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into thumb sized chunks
2 red onions, peeled then cut in half and into wedges
1 big handful of curly kale
1 tbsp crushed coriander seeds
1-2 red chillies, finely chopped (depending on the strength and your taste)
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
1 avocado
2 small limes, 1 juiced, 1 cut into wedges for serving
Big handful of fresh coriander roughly chopped
1 lemon zested
2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
extra virgin olive oil

First preheat your oven to 180C. Crush your coriander seeds in a pestle and mortar and mix them with the chopped squash, red onions with a couple of glugs of olive oil, salt and pepper.

When the oven is hot, roast the veg for about 45 mins, turning halfway through. The veg are ready when they are a golden and soft through, take them out and leave to cool.

While the vegetables are roasting, rinse the rice until the water comes out clear, then cook according to packet instructions.

To make the dressing, purée the avocado in a bowl with the lime juice and plenty of salt and pepper. In a separate bowl mix the chopped garlic and chilli with 4 tbsp of olive oil.

Wash and dry the kale and break into bite sized pieces, then massage the avocado and lime dressing into it.

When everything is ready mix it all gently together and season, you may want to add more lime/lemon juice or olive oil, it is also good with a spoon of natural yoghurt stirred through. Serve with the lime wedges and an extra sprinkle of sesame seeds.

Bon Appetite!

Photos Aneta Mak

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