Italian pumpkin and red rice salad

Italian pumpkin and red rice salad

We love hearty, substantial salads of beans, grains and cooked veg. They are usually served cold and walk the line between a salad and a side dish, but they can also make a meal in and of themselves. This salad is really adaptable too, you can use sweet potato or squash in place of the pumpkin and swop the butterbeans for any tinned beans or chickpeas you have in your cupboard

Takes 35 minutes

Serves 3


  • 250 g of cooked red rice/ if you can’t find red rice just cook brown rice and add 2 tbsp of sweet paprika and 1 tsp of oil and mix well
  • 250 g of cooked butter beans (400g tin)
  • 150 g of roasted pumpkin with skin on – chopped into bite size pieces
  • 3 ripe tomatoes chopped into bite size pieces
  • 100 g rocket
  • Small bunch flat parsley
  • 50 g of toasted pine nuts
  • Pickled onion
  • 1 red onion
  • 100 ml apple cider vinegar
  • 100 ml water
  • Pinch of salt
  • Dressing
  • 50 ml olive oil
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp tamari
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • Salt to taste


  • For the pickled onion, peel the onion and cut in half, then slice into thin half moons. To make the pickling solution, put the vinegar, water and salt into a sterilised jar, stir to combine and add the onion. Allow to sit for 10 minutes before using, the longer they sit the stronger the flavour. They will keep in the fridge for a couple of months.
  • Cooked your rice according to pack intstructions- when cooking the grain make sure to add salt as you cook that way the salt cooks into grain as opposed to when you season later it simply sits on the surface. Typically a grain doubles in weight from dried to cooked. Quinoa tends to triple.
  • To roast your pumpkin preheat your oven to 200 degrees C, chop into wedges – coat in a little oil and salt, spread out well on baking tray and bake till soft and delicious – about 20 – 25 minutes
  • Toast the pine nuts in a dry pan over a medium heat for 3-4 minutes, tossing occasionally so they do not burn. remove from the pan and set aside.
  • Drain and rinse your cooked beans – a can of cooked beans is 400g and drained weight normally is 230g so best to use a can and drain and rinse them
  • Cut your tomatoes, wash your rocket.
  • With the flat parsley ensure to include the stalks just chop them nice and finely as they contain lots of flavour.
  • Now to think about presentation. In a large bowl start with grain, add the bean and the tomatoes, add the dressing and mix it through. Taste and season with salt and ground black pepper to taste. Lastly add the herbs, greens, cooked veg and pickles and gently mix through. Add any pine nuts. Enjoy!


Calories: 568kcalCarbohydrates: 66gProtein: 14gFat: 30gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 8gMonounsaturated Fat: 16gSodium: 402mgPotassium: 1180mgFiber: 11gSugar: 19gVitamin A: 6122IUVitamin C: 30mgCalcium: 189mgIron: 6mg


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