Persian Grain Salad
December 13, 2016
By Elizabeth Palmer Califano

This Persian-influenced grain salad packs a healthy punch with fiber-rich whole grains, and vitamin powerhouse butternut squash. Squash contains immune-boosting vitamin C, as well as eye-protecting beta-carotene to keep your vision sharp. Pomegranate seeds lend a kick of bright flavor and color, as well as a dose of antioxidants that’s three times more potent than green tea or red wine! Serve this salad alongside grilled salmon or chicken for a well-rounded and delicious meal.

Serves: 4

Total Time: 1 hour


  • 1 small/medium size butternut squashed, peeled, seeded, and cut into bitesize cubes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup wild rice, cooked per package instructions
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ cup pistachios, chopped
  • ½ cup parsley, chopped
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
  • ½ cup pomegranate seeds



  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. On a sheet pan, toss together the squash, olive oil, cumin, cardamom, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Roast for 35-40 minutes, until tender and slightly caramelized.
  2. While the squash roasts, cook the rice per package instructions. When cooked, stir in 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and a pinch of salt and pepper to taste, then set aside to cool.
  3. Put the pistachios on a sheet pan, and toast in the oven for 4-6 minutes, until warm and fragrant.
  4. When the squash is cooked, arrange it over the rice on a large plate. Top with the chopped herbs, pistachios, and pomegranate seeds. Serve while still warm. Enjoy!


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About the Author

Elizabeth Palmer Califano
Elizabeth is a graduate of Hamilton College and The French Culinary Institute, as well as an avid world traveler and dinner party hostess. For more information, visit her website: