The best autumn salad

The best autumn salad recipe, highlighting fall produce like roasted butternut squash, beets and Brussel sprouts on a bed of heirloom black rice dressed in a vinaigrette.


  • 1 butternut squash – medium size
  • 1 lb Brussel sprouts
  • 1 orange -zested
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 tbsp De Rustica Estate Medium Olive Oil
  • 2 tsp lemon juice + more to taste
  • 2 tsp sea salt + more to taste
  • 2 red beets -medium
  • 3 sprigs fresh basil
  • 2 tbsp edible flowers (optional for garnish)
  • 70g goat cheese -optional
Black Rice
  • 1.5 c black rice
  • 2.5 c water
  • 1 leaf bay
  • 2 strips orange peel
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  1. Preheat your oven to 200 Celcius with a large cast iron skillet on the bottom rack.
  2. Rinse and scrub the beets well and wrap them loosely in aluminum foil, making sure to leave a little opening for the steam to escape. Place them on a rimmed tray in the preheated oven for 45 mins to 1 hour until softened.

  3. When cool enough to handle peel the skin off of the beets and cut them into small squares. Set aside until ready to use.
  4. Peel the butternut squash and discard the seeds. Cut it in into cubes and transfer to a large baking sheet. Drizzle with a lug of De Rustica Olive Oil and a pinch of sea salt. Spread them on the baking sheets preferably without touching each other. Roast them in the preheated oven for about 35 to 45 minutes until soft and starts to caramelize around the edges.

  5. Meanwhile, rinse and dry the Brussel sprouts and trim the ends. Half them lengthwise and transfer to a bowl. Drizzle with a lug of De Rustica Olive Oil and a good pinch of sea salt. Toss to coat and carefully transfer them to the preheated cast iron skillet you have in the oven. Do your best to have them cut side down for a nice golden brown sear. After about 15 minutes in the oven give them a gentle toss so they brown all over. Cook another 10 minutes or so until done to your liking.

Make the Rice:
  1. Combine the black rice, water, orange peel, sea salt and bay leaf in a pot. Bring to a simmer and cover with a tight lid. Cook for 30 minutes until all water has been absorbed. Remove from heat and allow it to sit covered for 10 minutes.

  2. Transfer the cooked rice to a mixing bowl and discard the bay and orange peel. Drizzle with a lug of the De Rustica Olive Oil and fluff with a fork.
  3. Transfer the rice to a serving tray and top with the roasted butternut squash, red beets, and Brussel sprouts.

Make the Vinaigrette:
  1. In a small jar combine 3 tbsp of De Rustica Olive Oil, the lemon juice and a pinch of sea salt. Shake to combine, taste and adjust seasonings with more lemon or salt until you are happy.

  2. Drizzle the vinaigrette all over the salad. Garnish with the fresh basil and edible flowers and serve warm with creamy goat cheese on top.