Lately I'm finding myself interested in trying new grains, like black rice for this salad, it's something I probably had in a restaurant before but never thought to make myself, well those days are over. And I'm happy for it. And maybe a bit healthier? Black rice is high in iron and very nutritious, rivaling blueberries with antioxidants. And it tastes really good!
The rice itself is beautiful, a dark purplish black, and since I bought this in the bulk section at Whole Foods, sans directions, I searched for how best to cook it, some recipes say to soak it first, some say not, some say "follow directions on package" doh!, so the soaking recipe sounded right and that's what I did.
This black rice salad is really delicious, and keeps well refrigerated if you want to have some the next day. It has a nice balance of herbs and citrus that work well with the nutty flavor of the rice. I only bought a small amount of this rice, maybe 2 cups worth, but I will definitely be getting it again. This salad recipe is a keeper! Recipe below. Enjoy!
Black Rice Salad
(adapted from La Tartine Gourmande)
- 1 ounce walnuts (about 1/2 cup of walnut halves)
- 1 cup black rice
- 1 large orange or grapefruit, segmented
- 1 fennel bulb, sliced thin, only white part
- 1 cup red grapes, cut into half pieces
- 2.5 ounces feta cheese (about 1/2 cup crumbled feta)
- 1 tablespoon flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- 1 tablespoon chives, chopped
- 1 tablespoon dill, chopped
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon honey
- Sea salt and pepper
To cook the black rice: soak 1 cup of rice in water for about an hour or two. Drain and rinse. In medium size pot add rice, 2 cups of water and 1 tablespoon olive oil, bring to a boil, simmer over low heat, covered, for about 30 minutes. Set aside to cool. This will yield about 3 cups of rice.
Toast the walnuts in a frying pan over medium heat for about 5 minutes (watch careful as they can burn quickly), set aside to cool and chop roughly.
To prepare the dressing whisk together vinegar, mustard, honey, salt and pepper. Slowly add the olive oil while whisking. Set aside.
In large bowl combine together rice, walnuts, orange, fennel, grapes and feta, then toss in herbs and dressing. Salt to taste.