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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Forbidden Black Rice Salad

I know that by the time you are reading this that it will be Cinco de Mayo.  I am quite sure that the blogosphere will continue to be filled with wonderfully yummy Mexican food recipes and photos as it has been the past few days.  

I hope wherever you are that you have some really fun plans to mark the occasion.  I have some special meal plans for the day; but, as usual, I'm behind on blogging and can't seem to plan things ahead of time so that you have a nicely packaged post about Mexican food to celebrate the day.   How do you people do that?  

I am in awe of you. 


Since I don't have a nice post on Mexican food to share with you today, I will have to first tell you about something else...

black rice

Have you tried it yet?

I've been reading the buzz about it recently and the health benefits associated with it.  It is full of antioxidants.  It's so good for you!  When I saw it at the Coop, I knew that I had to pick some up and try it.  Black rice was known in Ancient China as forbidden rice because only the Emperor was allowed to eat it.   I can completely see why he wanted to keep it all for himself. 

Not only is it good for you but it's pretty too.   

Forbidden Black Rice Salad
Recipe adapted from Food Network and Bobby Flay as posted here

1 cup cooked black rice
2 carrots, grated
1 cup sugar snap pea pods, thinly sliced on an angle
6 green onions, thinly sliced on an angle
Salt and Pepper, to taste
Citrus-Thai Basil Vinaigrette (recipe below)
Chopped fresh cilantro, Thai basil, and/or mint leaves, for garnish
Chopped roasted peanuts

    Combine rice and vegetables in a large bowl. Add the vinaigrette and stir to combine. Let the salad sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving. Garnish with desired herbs.

    Citrus-Thai Basil Vinaigrette

    3/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
    1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
    1/2 cup fresh Thai basil leaves, chopped (substitute regular basil or mint leaves if needed)
    1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
    1 teaspoon kosher salt
    1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    1 heaping tablespoon honey
    1/2 cup canola oil
    1/2 fresh jalapeno, seeds removed

    Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend for 1 minute. 

    Here are a few notes...

    The salad was really good; but it needed something. 
    I think if I let it sit even longer than thirty minutes that it would probably taste better. 

    The recipe called for 6 chopped green onions. I already had green onions chopped up in a bowl in my fridge that were leftover from another meal so I didn't measure them. I just threw some in until it looked right to me.  The green onions were so delicious in there that I ended up adding more on top of my salad for garnish, as well.  If you like them as much as I do, by all means add plenty of them to your salad.

    The original recipe called for chopped red onion, as well.  After reading the reviews, I didn't add them.  They just didn't sound right in the recipe to me either.  I don't know whether I made a mistake by not adding them or not.  Something was missing in the recipe; but, I can't wrap my head around it being because I left out the red onion.  What do you think?

    The original recipe did not call for jalapeno in the vinaigrette.  I thought it needed some zip so I tossed in a half of a jalapeno without the seeds.  It could have used the whole jalapeno and not been too hot.  Next time, I will add even more.  You just never know how hot a jalapeno really is by looking at it.

    I didn't have quite enough Thai basil to make the 1/2 cup without completely stripping my beautiful plant.  I, also, have mint and regular basil growing on my porch so I just grabbed as much Thai Basil as I thought that I could spare from my plant and supplemented the rest of the measurement with mint and regular basil.  I think it worked great.  I am getting more comfortable with using mint in something other than tea these days.

    I thought it odd that the salad didn't call for garlic.  We pretty much put garlic in everything around here that is not dessert.  I didn't add any since the recipe didn't call for it; but I think next time, that I will add some minced garlic to give the salad more flavor.

    One last thing, your vinaigrette is going to taste differently according how your citrus fruit tastes.  If the fruit is sweet or tangy or completely flavorless, that will affect this dressing.  I love a tangy taste to salads like this. My fruit didn't have enough of that for my taste.  I think I might add some rice wine vinegar to the vinaigrette next time, as well.

    While the salad was good, it needs something that I can't quite put my finger on just yet.  I will be making this again until I get it right.  It has a good start but it definitely could use some improvement.  I served it with a marinated chicken breast coated with panko and covered in a spicy mango sauce.  I can't wait to tell you about the mango sauce.  The missing ingredient to the salad was not the mango sauce; however, the mango sauce tasted delicious with it.   Then again, the mango sauce would have tasted delicious on absolutely anything.

    I will be sharing that recipe soon.
    You're welcome.  :)

    This post is being linked up here with Miz Helen's Full Plate Thursday.  If you aren't participating in this fun party, you should hop on over and see what you are missing.  There are always so many wonderful things shared around her table. 

    Thanks so much for stopping by!
    I hope you have a fantastic day! 


    1. your last few posts have swept me away bella....and this looks soooo incredible. wishing you an abundance of blessings and joy this week

    2. I love unusual ingredients like this one, I will have to look for it at the market. thanks.

    3. Love this Candace, it looks so good, so many great flavors in there. Maybe it needed a little chipotle to punch it up? I have to look for the black rice!

    4. What a beautiful looking dinner! And I have never even heard of black rice before. I've gotta check this out next time I'm at the co-op. Thanks, Candace. :-)

    5. no cinco de mayo day for me...at work again.

      i've never had black rice, but i've had red rice. i'd love to try this since i'm a rice person.

    6. It is good! And I love Bhutanese Red Rice also...have you tried this yet? So good! ~Vonnie

    7. Candace, I LOVE Forbidden rice! We get it ALL of the time. And now I am so totally using that delicious vinaigrette! It sounds amazing and I have many of those ingredients (cilantro, basil, jalapeno peppers, oranges, and limes) growing in my garden! Love this one! Thanks!

    8. I'm thinking garlic would be a good addition too. You can;t go wrong with at least a little garlic, right?
      I have never had black rice at all but you've certainly made me want to try!!

    9. oooh yay....a recipe! LOVE IT! Going to have to give this one a whirl.
      FYI...site moved this morning, url change & complete overhaul. Won't you please come back & follow? http://mitzissoutherncharm.blogspot.com/

    10. I didn't know there was such a thing as "black rice" Wow ! Do you have to go to a specialty market to get it? Is it availble down here?
      Would love to try it...as always your meal looks fabulous..♥U Aunt M

    11. i'm chinese so i actually do know about black rice! we usually have it in the form of a dessert though, sweetened and with coconut milk added sometimes (esp in south east asia).

    12. OMG, I have got to try black rice!

    13. I haven't tried anything with forbidden rice. sure I will try them.

    14. I was smiling when I saw all of the modifications you did!
      I do learn an awful lot by reading your posts! black rice? who knew?

    15. Hi Candace,
      I am so excited about the Black Rice recipe. I am all over it already. I just love a challenge like this, trying to find the missing ingredient. I can't wait to try it out, I already have an idea of what I will add. Thank you so much for sharing such an interesting and new recipe with Full Plate Thursday and hope to see you next week!

    16. This is actually quite the welcome relief from all those enchilada recipes! I love the texture of black rice....AND I love the thai vinaigrette! What a lovely dish!

    17. I have not tried it yet but always want to I just can't seem to find it fresh like that in our stores.I don't want to use the boxed kind. You did an amazing job cooking with it. Only wish I was there to try it with you! Fantastic pictures BTW!

    18. Hi! Just landed at your wonderful blog. I've been looking for recipes for black rice, I hope you don't mind if use it. All the best- Joy from at www.gastronomybyjoy.com. Thanks and followed you now, btw.


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