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Beautiful food always taste better, and when I say beautiful I don’t mean pastry or baked goods. I love letting the natural color and shape of ingredients shine through a dish, but sometimes it’s hard to retain these qualities after the cooking process. I’ve made this black rice salad twice now in the past 30 days, and that’s a rare occurrence for me since I always say there is not enough time for me to make all the dishes I want to try. This is one of those dishes that leave your eyes satisfied as well as your stomach.

The salad is composed of cooked black rice mixed in with fresh mangos, oranges, and peanuts. Black rice, also known as forbidden rice, is a heavy and nutty tasting rice that is actually a deep dark purple. The rice and water is brought to a boil in a pot with a dash of salt.

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Simmer the rice over medium heat for about 25 minutes. Then turn off the heat, cover the rice, and let stand for 10 minutes. The rice should taste firm. Drain the rice and spread out in a baking pan to cool.

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To make the dressing for the salad, peel and remove outer pith from the orange. Cut the segments out from the orange, and squeeze the juice from the leftover membrane into a small bowl.

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Add fresh squeezed lime juice, oil, and fish sauce ( substitute light soy sauce for vegans), and whisk to combine.

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Pour the dressing over the cooled rice and stir to mix thoroughly.

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Dice the mango into 1/4 inch pieces, finely chop the jalapeño peppers, along with the green onion, and red onions. Separate whole leaves of cilantro from their stems.

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place the rice in a bowl, and add the mango and orange slices. Mix very carefully so not to crush the orange slices or pieces of mango.

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Then add the cilantro, the onions, the jalapeños, and peanuts, and stir until combined. Season with salt and pepper, and add more lime juice if needed.

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The salad is awesome for the hot summer days, and very good for you. It is also vegan friendly and pretty easy to make.

Black Rice Salad with Mangoes and Peanuts

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