Earlier this week, Laura browsed a few of our cookbooks in an effort to find this round of recipes. She did a good job because each one of the dishes she settled on is fabulous. One dish, in particular, stood out to me because it included an ingredient I have never eaten. This ingredient is black rice.
Because I had no idea what black rice was, I did a little poking around on the internet to educate myself. Apparently, it’s really good for you. It’s known as Forbidden Rice and it includes such health benefits as disease-fighting antioxidants, dietary fiber, anti-inflammatory properties and has the ability to help stop the development of diabetes, cancer, heart disease and weight gain. Obviously, this caught my eye, especially the part about the grain having one of the highest levels of anthocyanin antioxidants of any food. That’s pretty awesome. It’s a wonder I keep finding out about these things.
After preparing the dish I’ll share with you below, I did notice one striking characteristic regarding this rice. It’s sticky. As I read the back of the bag, the manufacturer even mentioned this. The reason I thought this was interesting is because Laura likes to make homemade sushi quite a bit. The problem with the sushi though is that it’s prepared with white sushi rice. I’m not sure there’s anything good or healthy about that rice. After working with this black rice, I suggested that we give it a try instead, so that’s an experiment I’m looking forward to. I have a feeling it’ll work out just fine.
This salad is full of pretty awesome veggies, the rice I just mentioned above (which has a fruity aroma and a whole grain taste) and a very tasty ginger vinaigrette. Last night, we both made our traditional salads and placed some of this on top. It was a hit. There’s tons of flavor in this salad and it’s healthy and filling to boot. You can’t beat it.
1 1/2 Cups Black Rice
Regular Table Salt
Ground Black Pepper
3 Tablespoons Rice Vinegar
2 Tablespoons Sweet Onion, Minced
2 Teaspoons Honey
2 Teaspoons Asian Chili-Garlic Sauce
1 Teaspoon Ground Ginger
1/4 Cup Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Toasted Sesame Oil
6 Ounces Snow Peas
2 Apples, Cored, Trimmed and Chopped
Stems of 3 Beets, Chopped
1/4 Cup Parsley, Chopped
I’d like to thank America’s Test Kitchen and their resource called The Complete Vegetarian Cookbook for this recipe. While I substituted some ingredients substantially, they were my inspiration.
Also, I doubled up on the ingredients for this dish. I wanted lots of leftovers. I mention this because I don’t want you to think something is off in the photos below. You’ll see a lot more in the photos than you do in your own kitchen. That is, of course, unless you double up too.
Cook the Rice
Add the rice, 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1 3/4 cups of water to a medium sized saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. After the liquid begins to boil, reduce heat to low, cover and let cook for 45 minutes.
Basically, I cooked the rice based on the instructions on the package. If yours says something else, go with those directions.
After the rice is cooked, spread it out on a large baking sheet and let sit for at least 15 minutes to allow enough time to cool.
I know I already mentioned what needs to be done to each ingredient in the list above, but I thought I’d share a few images of what I did last night. The more, the better, in my book.
First, I cleaned and chopped the apples. I’d say these were about 1/2 inch pieces.
Next, I chopped up the sweet onion, very finely.
After that, I cleaned the snow peas and chopped up the parsley.
Finally, I cut up the beet stems. For those of you who are unfamiliar with beet stems, they have a very unique earthy sweet taste and are loaded with nutrients. It’s the greens that are the real hero when it comes to beets.
Make the Vinaigrette
In a medium sized bowl, add the rice vinegar, honey, chili-garlic sauce, ginger, olive oil, sesame oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper. Whisk these ingredients together well. Then, add in the sweet onion that was previously prepared and mix again.
In a large bowl, combine the vegetables, rice and vinaigrette. Toss thoroughly until everything is coated with the vinaigrette.
After that, you can divide the salad up among the plates and serve.
The Final Salad
Before I give you the final photo of the plated salad, I thought I’d let you know which brand of black rice we purchased. We got the Lundberg Black Pearl Rice, which is gluten-free and part of the NON-GMO project. I say this because I want you to know that you can make this entire dish gluten free, if that’s important to you.
At last, here’s the plated salad. Definitely give this a try. It’s delicious and probably the healthiest thing I’ve eaten this year.