Black rice is sometimes called purple rice or forbidden rice. Legends in China say that this dark whole grain rice was so rare and tasty that only emperors were allowed to eat it. I can attest to it’s great flavor and remarkable color. When cooked it takes on a dark purple hue. Apparently this rice is also full of good nutrients and antioxidants. I first tried this rice in a bread many years ago. If you ever find a loaf, try it; it makes a great garlic toast. So when I saw a package of black rice at my local Costco, I had to try it. I’ve also seen it recently at Sprouts as well. Let me know if you find it somewhere else.
The black rice mixture in this recipe could be served as a side dish instead of on a salad. You can serve it warm or at room temperature. No matter how you serve it, it is sure to please.
Black Rice Salad
3 cups uncooked black rice
3/4 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
1 cup dried cranberries
1/2 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
3 stalks celery, thinly chopped with leaves
3-4 Tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
Sliced mango, apricots, or peaches
1 head of green leaf lettuce, washed, dried, and chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried ginger
3-5 T maple syrup or sugar to taste
1/3 cup rice vinegar, to taste
1/3 cup safflower or canola oil
Cook black rice with the water according to the package instructions. Allow to cool 5-10 minutes.
In a large bowl, mix ginger dressing and adjust to taste.
Toss pecans, cranberries, celery, cilantro, and green onion in the large bowl with the ginger dressing. Allow to sit while rice finishes cooking.
Toss rice with the other ingredients in the bowl. Allow to cool to desired temperature.
Serve over a bed of lettuce with sliced mango or apricots.
Refrigerate leftovers, but return them to room temperature before eating.