I had never even heard of black rice, let alone cooked with it. My friend Susan gave me a bag some time ago, but it took me until this humid summer weather hit to decide on a chilled black rice salad to go with our supper. Our tree is still loaded with lemons, so there was the start of my Meyer lemon vinaigrette.
My recipe is adapted from one in last May’s Bon Appétit. Larry is not a big fan of walnuts, so I substituted pistachio nuts and switched out the green beans for asparagus tips. I lightened up the dressing a bit as well. We have borage growing in the garden and its pretty blue blossoms are edible. I’m not a great one for eating flowers – nasturtiums were another option – but they make a nice garnish. This recipe can be doubled or tripled for a crowd.
Turns out that black rice has a delicious nutty flavor, somehow richer tasting than brown rice. A popular brand of black rice is Lotus Foods Forbidden Rice, found online or at Whole Foods.
TIP: Black rice tends to be “sticky” so I suggest you rinse it a couple of times before cooking it.
- 1 cup black rice
- 1¾ cup water
- 1 pinch kosher salt
- ½ cup shelled pistachio nuts
- 3 tablespoons Meyer lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 scallions, chopped, white and light green portions only
- 1 cup frozen asparagus, tips only, thawed
- 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
- borage flowers (optional garnish)
- Using a medium-sized saucepan, heat the rice, water and salt until it boils. Lower heat, cover and cook over low heat until water is absorbed, about 35 minutes. Remove from heat and allow rice to "rest", covered. for 5 minutes.
- Next, spread the rice out on a sheet pan, allowing it to cool.
- While the rice cools, heat the pistachios in a small frying pan and toast, stirring, for about 3 minutes. Set aside.
- Combine the lemon juice, cider vinegar, honey and olive oil in a small bowl. Whisk together to blend ingredients.
- Combine the cooled rice, toasted pistachio nuts, scallions, asparagus tips and tomatoes. Add vinaigrette and toss. Garnish with borage flowers and serve.