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Forbidden Rice Salad with Ginger Dressing

Would you like to add a touch of drama to you picnic fare this summer? Here is a wholesome salad that can do the job.  Not only is it beautiful and easy to prepare but its main ingredient has a long history and a reputation as forbidden.

Shopping at Costco for wholesome grains I was intrigued when I found a bag of black rice. I was drawn to it, remembering a forbidden rice salad I had purchased from the deli at Whole Foods earlier.  I had wondered then where I might find the handsome nutty black rice it was made from. I could see the possibilities in the darkly intriguing color alone.

This was the first recipe I tried and it’s a winner. Simple and straightforward it works with the elegant purplish-black of the rice and adds a few splashes of flavorful color in the cranberries and green onions. Then, with reference back to the Chinese origins (where the rice earned its title of forbidden, because it was deemed too fine for anyone but the emperor), adds a modest amount of Ginger Dressing to spice things up. Nutty, tangy, chewy, and fragrant this impressive yet simple salad is sure to please.

Forbidden Rice Salad with Ginger Dressing            
Adapted from a recipe on the back of the bag of Nature’s Earthly Choice Black Rice

1 Tablespoon hazelnut oil or peanut oil
1 cup uncooked black rice
2 cups water
1 teaspoon vegetable bouillon
1/3 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
¼ cup dried cranberries
3 green onions, chopped on the diagonal
1/3 to ½ cup Ginger Dressing (I used Newman’s Own low-fat Sesame Ginger dressing)

Heat oil in a medium saucepan or skillet.  When shimmery, add the rice and sauté, stirring occasionally, until toasted (approximately two minutes.) 

Add the water and bouillon to the skillet, stirring to mix.  Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium-low.  Cover and cook for about 35 minutes, or until rice is tender. Remove from heat and allow it to cool. 

When cool, combine the rice mixture, pecans, cranberries, green onions and ginger dressing in a  large bowl.  Store in the refrigerator.  Serve cool or at room temperature.

Note: For a homemade Ginger Dressing try the one I use on this Wild Rice Salad with Ginger Dressing.



Karen (Back Road Journal) said...

I like to use black rice...it adds a bit of drama to your plate of food. This salad is perfect for summer.

Lisa said...

Karen - I love working with ingredients that are new to me! What's extra nice about this salad is that most of the drama is in the interesting color of the rice. The flavor of the salad as a whole is nice but easy on most palates.

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