Black Rice Salad with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette for #TheSaladBar

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Black Rice Salad

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.

Black Rice Salad with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
My first experiment cooking with black rice.
  • 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)
  1. 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.
  2. Next, spread the rice out on a sheet pan, allowing it to cool.
  3. While the rice cools, heat the pistachios in a small frying pan and toast, stirring, for about 3 minutes. Set aside.
  4. Combine the lemon juice, cider vinegar, honey and olive oil in a small bowl. Whisk together to blend ingredients.
  5. Combine the cooled rice, toasted pistachio nuts, scallions, asparagus tips and tomatoes. Add vinaigrette and toss. Garnish with borage flowers and serve.


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54 Responses to Black Rice Salad with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette for #TheSaladBar

  1. Stephanie, The Recipe Renovator July 12, 2013 at 8:14 am #

    Wow Liz, this looks gorgeous! I will have to try it this weekend… I too have some neglected black rice in the cupboard.

    • Liz July 12, 2013 at 8:25 am #

      It really tastes delicious – will be interested to see what you do with yours –

  2. Laura @ Family Spice July 12, 2013 at 8:23 am #

    I, too have black rice hidden in the pantry – ha! ha! Why are we all ignoring it?? Your salad looks so good!

    • Liz July 12, 2013 at 8:26 am #

      Thanks, Laura, funny about the neglected black rice in our pantries 😉

  3. Mary @ California Greek Girl July 12, 2013 at 12:39 pm #

    Never thought of using black rice, this is a simple but delicious introduction with meyer lemons! A great summer dish!

    • Liz July 12, 2013 at 12:58 pm #

      Mary, this salad reminds me of something you would pull together, along with produce from your garden.

  4. Jayne July 12, 2013 at 1:08 pm #

    I love wild rice! Would have it more but my husband isnt keen. I’ve never tried borage before, leaves or flowers! Great sounding salad Liz!

    • Liz July 12, 2013 at 1:23 pm #

      This actually isn’t wild rice – it is truly black – tastes richer and nuttier than both wild and brown rice, I think.

      • Jayne July 15, 2013 at 10:56 pm #

        Gosh I have not ever seen “black” rice before, then! Must look out for it.

  5. SallyBR July 12, 2013 at 1:10 pm #

    Very beautiful dish!

    I cooked black rice only twice, and both times turned out a bit “gummy”, but I think I did not rinse enough, your advice is spot on!

    I also think it might be the best rice for salads…

    and with this weather we are having, I am ALL for salads! 😉

    • Liz July 12, 2013 at 1:24 pm #

      Sally, someone, I forget who, suggested I rinse it – so I did, twice. Thanks –

  6. TheWimpyVegetarian July 12, 2013 at 1:38 pm #

    What a stunning salad!! I haven’t cooked this kind of rice since I was in school, so I really appreciate the nudge to pull it out. The stickiness makes this rice great for rice cakes (as in veggie burgers), but it’s your salad that I want to make 🙂

    • Liz July 12, 2013 at 1:51 pm #

      It’s fun to find a new ingredient, new to me, at least. Mine wasn’t too sticky but can imagine it would be good in veggie burgers.

  7. Lynda - TasteFood July 12, 2013 at 1:49 pm #

    I love black rice. It makes a perfect base for a rice salad.

    • Liz July 12, 2013 at 2:17 pm #

      I would love to see what you do with black rice, Lynda –

  8. Beth (OMG! Yummy) July 12, 2013 at 2:03 pm #

    This is really beautiful Liz! Love all your edits to the recipe and the presentation. We will have to have a meyer lemon cook fest together one of these days! Can’t wait to meet you in person!

    • Liz July 12, 2013 at 2:17 pm #

      Ditto, Beth – It feels like we have met, but we have that to look forward to-

  9. jacquie July 12, 2013 at 4:30 pm #

    love black rice also. I hadn’t thought to try lemon with it but the two do sound as though they would go well together. just to let you know you can find black rice and other varieties of lotus rice at other places than whole foods and amazon. the local safeway actually has it my area.

    • Liz July 12, 2013 at 4:43 pm #

      Thanks, Jacquie, I will check out my local supermarkets more carefully –

  10. Suzanne July 13, 2013 at 4:59 am #

    Oh I love rice salad and the vinaigrette sounds delicious. I love your photo its just beautiful.

    • Liz July 13, 2013 at 7:29 am #

      Thanks, I make a pretty good curried rice salad that I had totally forgotten about – will revamp that next, I think.

  11. Wendy Read July 13, 2013 at 8:07 am #

    Oh Liz! Love the borage flowers in the photo 🙂 We have a fabulous store in Orlando called Dong-A-Imports and they have so many gorgeous varieties of rice including Black of course, you have inspired me to make some..I am making a trip there next week! thanks so much for posting.

    • Liz July 13, 2013 at 9:03 am #

      Miss you, dear Wendy! And know how busy you must be –

  12. Dorothy from Shockingly Delicious July 13, 2013 at 8:15 am #

    Every bit of this is divine — the photo, the flowers, the yummy black rice (I love it! I am in the club!), and your wonderful Meyer lemons.

    • Liz July 13, 2013 at 9:03 am #

      Thanks, Dorothy, guess we both did rice salads? I’m going to look at your post right now.

  13. Lesa @ Edesia's Notebook July 13, 2013 at 9:38 am #

    I haven’t tried black rice yet. This looks like a great first recipe for it. The meyer lemon vinaigrette sounds bright and refreshing.

    • Liz July 13, 2013 at 12:38 pm #

      It was an experiment for me too – cooked up just like the package directions that I include in my recipe.

  14. Pam @ Blueberries And Blessings July 13, 2013 at 10:47 am #

    Your salad is beautiful! I love black rice – the flavors sound perfect!

    • Liz July 13, 2013 at 12:38 pm #

      Thanks – enjoying your site and salad.

  15. Hezzi-D July 13, 2013 at 11:20 am #

    Beautiful! Those flowers really pop in the salad.

    • Liz July 13, 2013 at 12:39 pm #

      I had never used the flowers before but I have a thing for blue flowers and, when I confirmed they were edible, they seemed the right garnish for my salad.

  16. Ann from Sumptuous Spoonfuls July 13, 2013 at 3:01 pm #

    I’ve never tried black rice … I’ve got to find some now. What a fun salad 🙂

    • Liz July 13, 2013 at 3:35 pm #

      It was a big hit at our house – I’d been kind of dubious.

  17. veronica gantley July 13, 2013 at 5:16 pm #

    OH MY! Your Black Rice salad looks so good> I must be delicious with such great ingredients

    • Liz July 13, 2013 at 5:18 pm #

      Veronica, thanks – glad to hear from you and hope I can figure out how to add the linky properly next month – sigh.

  18. Marlene @Nosh My Way July 13, 2013 at 6:17 pm #

    I just love seeing recipes like yours when people think outside the ordinary. Yours is definitely extraordinary.

    • Liz July 13, 2013 at 6:36 pm #

      Thanks for making my day, truly. We are into day 4 of remodeling our only bathroom and I thought I might lose my mind earlier…

  19. Cookaholic Wife July 13, 2013 at 6:58 pm #

    I’ve never noticed black rice in the store before, but the color contrast in this dish makes it look incredible!

  20. Michelle July 13, 2013 at 7:46 pm #

    This is so beautiful, and it sounds tasty too.

  21. Cynthia L July 13, 2013 at 8:26 pm #

    I have never heard of black rice, but now I must find some! This salad looks great and I love the switch to asparagus versus beans.

  22. angela@spinachtiger July 13, 2013 at 9:13 pm #

    This is why I like these challenges. I never had black rice and now I’m inspired by your pretty salad. I like pistachios too.

  23. sippitysup July 15, 2013 at 8:46 am #

    So sophisticated! I especially love all the additions from your garden. GREG

    • Liz July 15, 2013 at 10:43 am #

      Tis the season – garden very happy.

  24. Lisa @ Whisk & Cleaver July 15, 2013 at 10:06 am #

    What a beautiful dish! I will have to look for black rice. And I am dying to try your lemon dressing, sounds so refreshing!

    • Liz July 15, 2013 at 10:43 am #

      Thanks, Lisa –

  25. Elizabeth July 15, 2013 at 12:38 pm #

    Holy black rice, Liz! This is exquisite looking. Now that is a picture! Love the recipe as well. Thanks. Superb!

    • Liz July 15, 2013 at 12:55 pm #

      Cute, Elizabeth – thanks.

  26. Brandon @ Kitchen Konfidence July 17, 2013 at 3:09 pm #

    What a beautiful salad! Striking. I love the edible flowers.

    • Liz July 17, 2013 at 3:34 pm #

      Thank you, Brandon – I’m glad I used them.

  27. Mary @ Fit and Fed July 23, 2013 at 10:03 pm #

    I love the pretty blue borage flowers on the salad, it all looks so dramatic with the green, red, and blue against the black rice. I don’t have any borage in my garden, though, it’s such a strong grower it really needs its own bed. We have black rice and cook with it- it’s good stuff!

  28. Black rice, I’m so intrigued! Will definitely have to try this–you’ve sparked my interest!

  29. Oui, Chef August 6, 2013 at 5:14 am #

    I’m a fool for black rice…how did you know? Love all the colors on the plate, as they say, it’s best to “eat the rainbow”.

  30. Kim August 9, 2013 at 1:46 pm #

    Liz – this is a BEAUTIFUL presentation. Do you grow borage flowers?!

    • Liz August 9, 2013 at 2:28 pm #

      Yes, I have borage in the garden – bees love it.

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