Orange-Saffron Scented Rice Salad with a Hint of Hazelnut

Fresh herbs season a medley of fruits and vegetables in this wonderful rice salad. Finish with scallions and toasted hazelnuts.


  • 1 large butternut squash, peeled and cut into bite-size pieces
  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • Salt and pepper
  • Freshly grated nutmeg
  • 5 1/2 cups homemade or store-bought chicken stock
  • 1 heavy pinch saffron threads (about 1/2 teaspoon)
  • 1/3 cup golden raisins
  • 5-6 golden beets, peeled and chopped
  • 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 3 cups long grain white rice
  • Juice of 3 organic oranges
  • About 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons hot sauce
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon super-fine sugar
  • 2 teaspoons each onion powder or granulated onion, sweet paprika, coriander and celery salt
  • About 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 2 oranges, supremed and chopped
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 Fresno or jalapeño chili pepper, chopped
  • 5-6 thin scallions, thinly sliced on bias, for garnish
  • 1/2 cup chopped, toasted hazelnuts, for garnish


Pre-heat the oven to 425ºF. Arrange the squash on a baking sheet and spray to lightly coat with olive oil cooking spray. Season liberally with salt, pepper and lightly with freshly grated nutmeg. Roast to brown at the edges and tender, 20-25 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring the stock and saffron to a boil. Add the raisins, beets, carrots, rice and stir. Return to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low; cover and simmer, 18 minutes. The rice should be golden in color and very fluffy.

In a large bowl, whisk together the orange juice, vinegar, hot sauce, sugar, onion powder, paprika, coriander, celery salt, pepper and EVOO. Add the squash, rice, oranges, onions, sweet and hot peppers. Stir to coat and combine the salad. Serve warm, room temperature or cold. garnished with scallions and toasted hazelnuts.

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