Slightly nutty, full of fresh crunch from peppers and onion, with a refreshing vinaigrette dressing, this Forbidden Rice Salad was a hit as the 2013 Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco
The story of Forbidden Rice Salad
Forbidden Rice Salad was a recipe I developed for the Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco for my then client Colavita USA. They wanted something that would be interesting, use their products, and be easy to keep and serve at the three-day-long event.
Live cooking demonstrations were out of the question as there were no cooking facilities provided; not even proper refrigeration. So with that in mind, I made this salad, sealed it up in vacuumed sealed bags, and delivered it to my client who provided a small bar refrigerator to keep it in.
It worked perfectly. The vacuumed sealed bags were easy to stack in the refrigerator, the salad actually got better over time; the dressing soaked into the rice, while the sealed bags kept the food fresh and crunchy.
And the crowd loved the flavors of earthy black rice combined with the fresh crunch of peppers.
What is Black Rice?
Black Rice, also known as Forbidden Rice, used to be difficult to find. But now it seems it's everywhere you shop. Like brown rice, black rice is full of antioxidant-rich bran, which is found in the outer layer that gets removed during the milling process to make white rice. But only black-rice bran contains the antioxidants known as anthocyanins, purple and reddish pigments -- also found in blueberries, grapes, and acai -- that have been linked to a decreased risk of heart disease and cancer, improvements in memory, and other health benefits. It has a deep earthy, yet slightly fruity flavor and slightly chewy texture.
How to Cook Black Rice
Regardless of the instructions on the package, I cook my black rice the same way I cook pasta, in a large pot of lightly salted boiling water. Once it has reached my desired degree of tenderness; about 20 to 25 minutes; I drain it and proceed with my recipe. I find that black rice benefits from having other ingredients added to it, such as making it into a pilaf or this Forbidden Rice Salad.
Here's to your good health!
Forbidden Rice Salad
- 4 cups cooked black forbidden rice
- 1 ½ cups finely diced red yellow, and orange bell peppers (about ½ cup each)
- 1 cup finely diced red onion
- ¾ cup minced parsley
- ½ cup red wine vinegar
- ¾ to 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- In a large bowl combine the rice, peppers, onion, and parsley.
- Add the vinegar and stir to incorporate; add ¾ cup oil and stir gently. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Add additional oil, if desired. Serve at room temperature.
- This salad is best when refrigerated, covered, overnight to allow the flavors to blend. Bring to room temperature prior to serving