So good, she used it twice: Warm black rice salad

Ahoy, mateys! I’m back from a week stay-cay, and raring for action! It was a week that was simultaneously lazy and action-packed–for every languorous chardonnay and chinchilla afternoon, there was an exhausting, exhilarating mermaid practice; every picnic was bought with a handful of long-overdue (but absolutely necessary) errands. So while it wasn’t exactly relaxing in Tahiti with a pina colada, it was just the slowdown I needed in order to reset after the absolute insanity of the last month. It was also the first chance I’ve gotten in some time to just get in the kitchen and tinker. And just in time, too–barbecue season is rapidly upon us, and as woman cannot live by meat alone (or so I’m told), I’ve taken it upon myself to come up with some smashing side-dish action. Last summer, I was all about anything and everything involving chickpeas and raw garlic (I was a both a joy and a pleasure to behold, let me tell you); this year, I seem to be drifting in a more easterly direction, as manifested by the warm black rice salad I threw together the other day.

black rice salad

Confession: this was another one of my fleeting, random, magic kismet dishes, born of the random bits and pieces lurking around my kitchen rather than any grand and/or nefarious design. I had plans to lunch outside with a friend, but wanted to pony up more than a leftover pulled pork sandwich (or rather, my arteries begged me to). So, to the cupboards I went, discovering that I had some scallions, a whole bunch of black rice, and a handful of frozen edamame–and a whole bunch of homemade duck stock in the freezer, just begging to be used as the cooking liquid for the rice. Once that connection had been made, the warm salad came together in a flash–light, aromatic, refreshing, and perfect for a picnic. In fact, it was such a success that I recycled the leftovers for dinner the following night, padding it out with some flash-sauteed green beans and some sea scallops.

warm black rice salad

A few notes on ingredients: I used black vinegar in the sauce; it’s a mild vinegar that can be made from rice, wheat, or sorghum. It’s slightly sweet, and a little malty, which makes it a good choice for braising things and making dipping sauces–gentle, yet complex and slightly mysterious on the palate. However, any old rice vinegar would probably be just fine, just remember to add a little more honey to the dressing to cut the acidity. As for the rice: I used black, but brown rice would probably also be a delight; I say just go with whatever you can readily get your hands on. If you really want to use black rice, however, you can pick it up for a really good price here, and you can get black vinegar here.

And without further ado, the recipe! Share it with good friends and the ones you love.

(Oh! one more thing–before you go forth and make this salad, please don’t forget to VOTE SHIV! Now 150% easier–go to www.voteshiv.com. Pass it on!)

Warm Black Rice Salad
You’ll note the quantities are flexible–as always, tinker according to your taste.

1c black rice
4-5 cloves garlic, finely minced
1.5-2 inch knob of ginger, peeled and finely sliced (you want roughly the same amount as you have of garlic)
1/2 c black vinegar
2-3 scallions, finely sliced
1/2-1c edamame
1 tbsp+1 tsp sesame oil (scale up or down to taste)
2 tsp olive oil
2 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp honey

  1. Prepare the rice according to package instructions (I used duck stock instead of water, for just a little extra kick). Edamame as well.
  2. In a small skillet, heat 1 tsp sesame oil and 2 tsp olive oil over medium heat. Toss in the ginger and garlic and saute until aromatic–about 2 minutes.
  3. Add vinegar, honey, soy sauce, and remaining sesame oil. Bring to a boil and then immediately turn heat to low, simmering until it’s slightly thickened.
  4. Pour dressing over rice; add the scallions and the edamame. Toss to coat, then go watch an episode of True Blood while you wait for it to cool.
In asian, rice, salad, summer

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