Pastas and other grains

Rice Pilaf with Roasted Butternut Squash, Barberries, and Pistachios

Chicken Kebab with Plum and Citrus Marinade

I was craving a hearty salad, but after I began pulling my ingredients together, I ended up making the rice pilaf. It actually happens quite often to me when I am cooking in the kitchen, I start with one idea but end up with completely different dish. This recipe is delicious, hearty and healthy! Don’t be intimidated by a long list of ingredients, it’s very easy to make. Begin by cooking the rice: I used brown rice but you can also use wild rice for this dish. First, sauté onions and carrots. Add fresh grated ginger, cumin, cinnamon and garlic. Then add water and rice and cook for about 45 minutes. While rice is cooking, roast butternut squash with fresh thyme, nutmeg, pinch of brown sugar and cayenne pepper for a bit of heat. Finally, transfer cooked rice to a bowl, top it with roasted butternut squash, pistachios, feta and fresh herbs if desired. You can’t go wrong with this recipe, as it makes a great base for you to add different ingredients. Change it up to make it your own!

Serves 4-6

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 45 minutes


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped peeled carrot
  • 1 tablespoon peeled fresh ginger, grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Pinch cinnamon
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 1/2 cups 1/2-inch cubes peeled seeded butternut squash
  • 2-3 fresh thyme sprigs ( or pinch of dried thyme)
  • Pinch of brown sugar
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 cups brown rice
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons dried barberries (soaked for few minutes in boiled water with a pinch of sugar) or cranberries; note: you can purchase barberries at www. if you can’t find them in your grocery store
  • 1/4 cup unsalted pistachios
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled (optional)
  • Salt, pepper to taste
  • Fresh parsley and mint to garnish


  1. Heat oil in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and carrot; sauté 5 minutes. Add ginger, cumin, cinnamon and garlic; stir 1 minute.
  2. Add rice and 3 cups water ( or follow the directions on the package) and salt. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until water is absorbed and rice is tender, about 45 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in barberries. Cover; let stand about 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. While rice is cooking, preheat the oven to 400 F. Place the butternut squash on the baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil, thyme, brown sugar, cayenne pepper, nutmeg and salt. Toss everything together to mix. Roast butternut squash for 18-20 minutes, or until softened and slightly caramelized. Remove from oven.
  4. Transfer rice to bowl. Top it with the roasted butternut squash, pistachios, feta cheese and garnish with fresh parsley and mint.


Chicken Kebab with Plum and Citrus Marinade


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  • Reply
    Maulshri Mitra
    May 13, 2014 at 1:05 pm

    This looks so yummy and comforting Xx

  • Reply
    May 13, 2014 at 8:40 pm

    This salad sounds quite interesting! I would never have thought to put a lot of this together…love learning new things like this! By the way, your photo is great!

  • Reply
    Tasty Eats Ronit Penso
    May 13, 2014 at 9:34 pm

    I know what it’s like, to start cooking meaning to make on thing and end up with something completely different… But usually these are the most interesting recipes, like the one you have here. 🙂

    • Reply
      May 14, 2014 at 12:05 pm

      Agree! You never know what you end up with but these are the most interesting. The key is to write down the ingredients:) thanks for stopping by:)

  • Reply
    Stephanie @ The Cozy Cook
    May 15, 2014 at 3:06 pm

    I have to agree with everyone, this recipe is AWESOME… so unique, it inspires me to be more creative!! Loveeeeee it!

  • Reply
    May 16, 2014 at 7:35 pm

    Good looking salad 🙂

  • Reply
    Glyn Ruppe-Melnyk
    May 17, 2014 at 7:23 am

    We love butternut squash year-round. This would be fabulous al fresco on a warm spring night. And your photos are wonderful. Glyn

    • Reply
      May 17, 2014 at 7:35 am

      Thanks Glyn! I hesitated first to post a recipe with butternut in the middle of May, but I am like you, love butternut squash all year around. Thanks for stopping by:)

  • Reply
    Meal planner – Week 2 – Ocean View Kitchen
    February 19, 2016 at 2:08 pm

    […] Monday-Rice Pilaf with Roasted Butternut Squash, Barberries, and Pistachios Tuesday- One Pot Taco Skillet (recipe below) Wednesday- Pasta with Spinach Pesto and Bacon Bites Thursday- Bean and Vegetable Soup (recipe below) Friday- Night out or check out these Asian Steak Kebabs […]

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