Black Rice Salad with Apricots and Almonds

Serves 4
Prep time 1 hour, 20 minutes
Cook time 45 minutes
Total time 2 hours, 5 minutes
Dietary Gluten Free, Vegetarian
Meal type Lunch, Main Dish, Salad, Side Dish
Misc Gourmet, Pre-preparable
Occasion Barbecue, Casual Party, Thanksgiving
By author Chef Eric Lundy
You'll enjoy this delicious salad as a side or main dish year round!


  • 1 cup Black Forbidden Rice
  • good salt, like Bitterman’s Fleur de Sel and black pepper
  • 1/2 small red onion (halved and sliced thin)
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons champagne or white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon coarse grain mustard
  • 8-10 dried apricots (sliced)
  • 1/3 cup whole raw almonds (toasted and roughly chopped)
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries or cherries
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • lemon olive oil (we love the Ranise brand from Italy)


Step 1
1. Rinse rice in a sieve under cold running water until water runs clear.
Step 2
2. Bring rice, water (1¾ cups), ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper to a boil in a 2 ½ - to 3-quarts heavy saucepan, uncovered, over medium-high heat.
Step 3
Cover and reduce heat to low, and then cook until rice is tender and most of water has been absorbed, about 35 minutes.
Step 4
3. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and the spread onto a sheet pan to quickly cool down; about 20-30 minutes.
Step 5
4. While rice is cooking; in a large bowl, combine the red onion, orange juice, vinegar, mustard and ½ teaspoon salt. Toss to combine and set aside to let the red onions soften a bit and the dressings flavors to come alive.
Step 6
5. When the rice has cooled, stir it into the bowl with the dressing and toss to combine. Add the apricots, almonds, dried cranberries/cherries and most of the parsley and toss to incorporate. Season with a bit more salt and pepper.
Step 7
Divide among four bowls/plates or on to one large platter. Garnish with the feta cheese and dress with drizzle of lemon olive oil and a few grinds of freshly ground black pepper and a few pinches of salt, if desired.

Make this quick, delicious and simple recipe when time is of the essence!

Weeknight Chicken Curry-In-A-Hurry

Serves 4-6
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 30 minutes
Total time 40 minutes
Allergy Milk
Dietary Gluten Free
Meal type Main Dish
Misc Freezable, Gourmet, Pre-preparable, Serve Hot
Prepare this delicious and quick-to-prepare dish when you're short on time, but want a delicious and hearty meal.


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 small onions (roughly chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon salt (plus more to taste)
  • 3 tablespoons Vadouvan curry powder (OR hot curry powder)
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1/2 - 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon Mutti double concentrate tomato paste
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1.5 cups canned crushed tomatoes
  • 1.5lb skinless chicken (thighs or breasts or combo)
  • 1 can chicpeas (15 oz can) (drained and rinsed)
  • 1/2 cup carrots (cut into julienne/matchsticks)
  • 1/2 jar Boat House pickled raisins (1/2 cup) (or more, depending on how sweet you like it)
  • 6oz plain yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • cooked basmati rice (hot and ready to serve)


The addition of pickled raisins turns this weeknight curry into something special!


Step 1
Heat the oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium high heat. When hot, add the onions and salt. Sauté, stirring occasionally, for 10-12 minutes, until the onions take on some color. If the onions seem to be browning too quickly, turn down the heat.
Step 2
When ready, add the curry, garam masala and chili flakes and cook the spices, stirring frequently for 2-3 minutes
Step 3
Add the tomato paste and cook another 2-3 minutes then add the broth and tomatoes scraping up the brown bits. Turn up the heat and bring the mixture to a boil.
Step 4
Add the chicken, chickpeas, carrots, and pickled raisins. Lower the heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 15-18 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through.
Step 5
Remove lid and stir in the yogurt, 2 tablespoons of the cilantro and ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.
Step 6
Serve over the basmati rice and garnish with the remaining cilantro

Rich autumnal flavors make it the perfect salad to accompany any dinner or as a light supper on its own. It’s one of our Thanksgiving table staples!

Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Bacon, Escarole and Pickled Figs

Serves 4-8
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 50 minutes
Total time 1 hour
Allergy Milk
Dietary Gluten Free, Vegetarian
Meal type Main Dish, Salad, Side Dish
Misc Gourmet
Occasion Casual Party, Thanksgiving
By author Chef Eric Lundy


  • 2-3 cups butternut squash or pumpkin (peeled and chopped into bite sized pieces)
  • 1 red onion (roughly chopped)
  • 6 thick slices best bacon (we like applewood smoked) (cut into 1” pieces)
  • 3 tablespoons Ratto’s extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1.5 teaspoons good salt (like Bitterman’s Fleur de Sel) (plus more to finish and freshly ground black pepper, to taste)
  • 2-3 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon Don Bruno Sherry vinegar (available at Ratto's)
  • 1 9 oz jar Boat Street Pickled Figs (available at Ratto's)
  • 1 tablespoon coarse grain mustard
  • 1 head escarole (washed and roughly chopped)
  • 1-2 tablespoon Ranise Extra-Virgin Lemon Olive Oil (available at Ratto's)
  • .5 cup toasted pepitas (divided)
  • Parmesan (Parmigiano-Reggiano or Argentine Reggianito) (divided)


Step 1
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Step 2
Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment or foil.
Step 3
Place the squash, red onion and bacon on the sheet and toss with the olive oil and then season with salt and pepper.
Step 4
Toss the rosemary sprigs on top and place in center of preheated oven.
Step 5
Roast for 35-40 minutes until the squash is golden browned on the edges and fork tender, make sure to toss a few times during cooking.
Step 6
Remove from oven and deglaze pan with vinegar. Spoon the pickled figs and mustard over squash mixture and toss to combine.
Step 7
Place the escarole in a large bowl and scrape the squash/fig mixture into the same bowl. Add half of the pepitas and half of the Parmesan and toss all together.
Step 8
Arrange onto a platter or individual serving plates. Drizzle with the lemon evoo, garnish with the remaining pepitas and Parmesan. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper and serve immediately.

White Bean Salad with Tuna, Spinach and burst Tomatoes

Serves 2-4
Prep time 20 minutes
Allergy Fish
Dietary Gluten Free
Meal type Lunch, Main Dish, Salad
Misc Gourmet, Serve Cold, Serve Hot
Occasion Casual Party
This quick and easy-to-prepare salad is perfect for a weeknight dinner or weekend lunch. All pantry items available at Ratto's.


  • 2 tablespoons Ratto's Extra Virgin Olive Oli (plus more for finishing)
  • 1 pint Grape or Cherry Tomatoes
  • 2 cloves Garlic (sliced thin)
  • Good Salt (like Bitterman's fleur de sel (yes, it makes a difference!))
  • Ground Black Pepper (freshly ground is preferable)
  • 1 jar Gourmet Pantry White Beans (rinsed and drained)
  • 1 tablespoon Dinamite Calabrian Hot Pepper Tapenade (add more if you like it spicy)
  • 1 Small red onion (or a large shallot, thinly sliced)
  • 1 lemon (zested and juiced, both reserved)
  • 5oz Baby Spinach
  • 1 can Sardanelli tuna filet in olive oil, 10.5 ounces (drained and broken into large chunks)
  • Crusty Bread (for serving)


Step 1
In a sauté pan over med-high heat, add the 2 Tbs evoo and heat for 1-2 minutes to

Step 2
Add the tomatoes and toss right away and continue to cook, tossing frequently for 1-2 minutes, just until tomatoes are just starting to burst.
Step 3
Add the garlic and toss another minute, until garlic is just starting to take on some color.
Step 4
Turn off the heat and add the white beans and tapenade to the tomatoes, toss to combine.
Step 5
Add the lemon juice and zest and season with salt and pepper.
Step 6
Put the baby spinach in a large bowl. Pour the warm bean mixture over spinach and toss to combine and slightly wilt the spinach. Add the tuna and gently fold in.
Step 7
Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if needed. Platter-set the salad and drizzle with more extra virgin olive oil and serve with crusty bread.

Try this fantastic and easy-to-prepare cauliflower dish!

Grilled Berbere Cauliflower with Tahini Sauce and Pomegranate

Serves 2-4
Prep time 35 minutes
Allergy Tree Nuts
Dietary Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Meal type Main Dish, Side Dish, Starter
Misc Gourmet, Pre-preparable, Serve Cold, Serve Hot
Region African
By author Chef Eric Lundy


  • 1/4 cup lemon juice (plus 2 Tbs. (approx. 2 lemons))
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoons Ratto's Ethiopian Berebere spice blend
  • 1 teaspoon Ratto's ground sumac
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1.5 teaspoons good salt (like Bittermans's fleur de sel +more)
  • 1 head cauliflower (stem trimmed, leaves left intact)
  • 1/3 cup Soom premium sesame tahini
  • 2 heaped tablespoons pomegranate seeds
  • 2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley (roughly chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons toasted nuts (walnuts, pine nuts, pistachios, etc.)
  • 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
  • 1 teaspoon dried rose petals (lightly crushed (optional))


Step 1
In a small bowl, stir 2 tablespoons lemon juice with the butter, Berbere spice, sumac and half the garlic.
Step 2
In a large pan of boiling salted water, cook the cauliflower until the stem can be just pierced with a knife, 8 to 10 minutes. Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. When done, remove and drain the cauliflower and transfer to a cutting board.
Step 3
Slice the cauliflower crosswise into 4-5 thick slabs. Rub the cauliflower all over with the spiced butter and transfer to the heated grill pan. Cook, turning as needed, until charred and blackened all over, about 8-10 minutes, and transfer to a serving platter.
Step 4
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk the remaining 1⁄4 cup lemon juice and garlic with the 1 1⁄2 teaspoons salt, the tahini, and 3-4 tablespoons water until smooth. Drizzle the tahini sauce over the cauliflower and sprinkle with the pomegranate seeds, parsley, and nuts. Drizzle with the pomegranate molasses and sprinkle with the rose petals (if using) before serving.

*Ratto’s Berbere Spice Blend – From the eastern Horn of Africa, this complex blend of chile peppers and spices adds warmth and depth to all sorts of dishes like beans, meats, and stews, and nicely spices up standard fare like burgers, grilled chicken and roast vegetables.
Spicy, bitter, and sweet, the blend contains hot chilies, black pepper, fenugreek, ginger, cardamom, coriander, cinnamon, cloves, cumin, allspice, nutmeg, paprika, onion/garlic.