Thanks to Beyond Sushi, I have a several month long obsession with black rice.
So what is black rice? Well, I will tell you.
Not only is it more dramatic looking and exotic than white rice, it’s a heck-of-a-lot healthier, too. It’s even better for you (and more chic) than brown rice. It’s much higher in fiber, because the rice kernel isn’t milled offed and polished the way it is in white rice. It also contains a lot of B vitamins that white rice is stripped down of (even though some are fortified back in, it’s not the same!), as well as manganese, phosphorous, iron, and all (yes, ALL) of the essential amino acids. Umm, hello vegetarian-friendly nutritional powerhouse!
As of about a month ago, it’s available for $2.69 per bag at Trader Joe’s ! HOLLA!
It’s also bursting with antioxidants. It contains anthocyanin – a water soluble antioxidant which colors things red, purple, or blue, depending on pH. This is what gives the rice that that blacky hue and makes it bleed purple (just like an NYU violet! #fightonNYUviolets #intimidating).
It’s pink in acids, purple in neutral (ie water), and greenish-yellow in alkaline. So hypothetically you could even use black rice to test pHs of solutions. The possibilities with this stuff are endless. Anthocyanin also gives blueberries, acai, cherries, and concord grapes their colors. It’s also in a lot of flowers. Basically, it’s pretty.
I made this for a graduation lunch I had with some lovely friends of mine. Regarding this lunch, someone told me no one has parties for college graduation. I say I just like reasons to cook nice things for people. Living alone, I feel weird taking a lot of time or buying a lot of ingredients to make myself fancier or complicated things.
It feels frivolous. It’s not. I’m going to start #treatingmyself more. Anyways, in my opinion any small accomplishment is worth celebrating with food. Next time you get a cavity filled or an A on your test, hit me up. I’d love to cook you something yummy. Like this black rice salad.
I was nervous that people wouldn’t like this. I actually had a mild panic right before all the people arrived like OMG ALL THIS FOOD IS WEIRD AND HEALTHY WHAT IF PEOPLE DON’T ACCEPT ALL THIS HEALTHY FOOD. WHAT IF SOMEONE JUST WANTS A DAMN CHEESEBURGER OR SOME WINGS.
After a few deep breathes I realized it was too late to do anything except serve everything I made. And everything was well received, especially this salad. This post is now getting way too long and I bet no one is even reading anymore so I’m finna wrap things up.
This black rice salad really great for parties actually. It looks pretty. It looks impressive. It’s like tasting the rainbow in a non-Skittles way. And it tastes ah-MAZING. It can be served as a side dish or an entree. Whatever way you make it just make sure you do.
Rainbow Black Rice Salad
Ingredients for the Salad:
- 2 to 2.5 cups black rice
- one large red bell pepper, diced
- one large green bell pepper, diced (can also use orange or yellow, whatever is around)
- one large mango, cubed
- 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
- 8-10 green onions, chopped
- crushed peanuts and/or cashews (about 1/4 cup or more if you’d like, also can be omitted)
Ingredients for the Dressing:
Note: I eyeballed this. Use about 3 tablespoons each oil + 3 tablespoons lime juice with 1 tablespoon honey as a guideline
- 1 part vegetable oil
- 1 part lime juice
- dash white vinegar
- honey to taste (enough to emulsify and sweeten)
- dash of sriracha or red pepper flakes (optional)
1. Cook black rice as instructed on package. The package will probably tell you to use a ratio of 1:2 for rice:water. I suggest using a little less. And not cooking it until it’s mushy. The salad works better when it’s a little al dente.
2. While rice is cooking, dice bell peppers and green onions.
3. Cube your mango into about 1/4 inch cubes.
4. Chop cilantro.
5. Pop rice into the refrigerator and allow to cool completely. Meanwhile, combine ingredients for dressing in a small bowl and whisk.
7. Combine 3/4ths of chopped produce into cooled rice. Mix.
8.Pour dressing over salad and toss gently.
9.Add remaining 1/4th of chopped produce on top. Garnish with crushed nuts.
10. Watch out for creeping pups.
10.5. Especially when they look super pathetic and are trying to tell you they need to go poop before you eat…