Black Rice Salad with Roasted Vegetables ~ this clean-out-the-fridge salad can be changed up in countless ways depending on what you have around…and it’s proof that leftovers don’t have to be boring!
This is my version of a clean out the fridge salad…it’s cobbled together from bits and pieces from our previous week’s meals. Black rice provides a satisfying base, and looks so dramatic.
What the heck is black rice?
- Black (or purple) rice is an ancient variety of rice that happens to be very dark.
- Black rice is healthier than white or brown rice, and it has more antioxidants than blueberries. Those antioxidants are also responsible for the deep color.
- It’s sometimes called ‘Forbidden Rice’ because it was such a delicacy in Japan that only the Emperor was allowed to eat it.
- Black rice has a nutty flavor, and you cook and use it just like regular rice. I’ve feature it in my SPICY TANGERINE CHICKEN WITH BLACK RICE.
This salad turned into a celebration of winter’s bounty, with roasted sweet and blue potatoes, beets, and Brussels sprouts. I had Blue cheese, roasted hazelnuts, a tangerine, and even a half a pomegranate in a zip lock baggie left over from that EPIC CHEESE PLATE I posted the other day. The cherry tomatoes I just happened to stumble across at the supermarket and they were too cute to leave behind. A little bit of a hodge-podge, but it works!
I’m slowly putting together a collection of grain salads on tvfgi, and I’ll be working my way through all the different varieties. I love them because they’re hearty and keep so well in the fridge ~ perfect for weekly lunch prep! They make a great excuse to eat less meat, too. Here are a few of the recipes I’ve made so far ~
- WILD RICE BOWL WITH WATERCRESS AND HAZELNUTS
- WHEAT BERRY SALAD WITH BEETS AND FETA
- RYE AND CARROT SALAD
- VEGAN ANCIENT GRAIN SALAD
- JEWELED TABBOULEH
- WILD RICE SALAD WITH CRANBERRIES AND NUTS
These salads are perfect for the fall and winter months, although they can be adapted for any season of the year.
I decided to make one of my favorite dressings, the pomegranate allspice vinaigrette from my HARVEST SALAD. It’s so simple and has a beautiful exotic flavor.
NOTE: This black rice salad truly was a recipe put together from what I had around, and in the end I felt that the Blue cheese was a little overpowering, so I’ve suggested a goat or feta cheese in the recipe.
Winter Black Rice Salad
- 1 cup raw black rice or 2 1/2 cups cooked
- 1 sweet potato peeled and cut in a small dice
- 2 small blue potatoes cut in small dice
- 1 cup Brussels sprouts trimmed and halved
- 2 medium beets cooked, peeled, and diced
- 1/2 cup finely diced celery
- 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
- 1-2 tangerines peeled and sectioned
- 1/2 cup toasted hazelnuts chopped
- 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes halved or quartered
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 Tbsp pomegranate vinegar or another red vinegar
- 1 Tbsp pomegranate molasses
- 1/2 tsp allspice
- pinch salt
- crumbled feta or goat cheese
- mint leaves
- Set the oven to 375F
- Whisk the dressing ingredients together. Taste to adjust anything.
- Cook the rice according to the package directions. I like to cook it just until it's tender but still has a bite to it, so check it before the allotted time. Put it in a large bowl to cool.
- Toss the sweet potato and the blue potatoes in a little olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Spread out on a baking sheet. Do the same with the Brussels sprouts on another sheet and roast for about 15 minutes or until just tender and starting to caramelize. The Brussels sprouts may take longer.
- Toss the rice with half of the dressing to moisten. Add the rest of the ingredients and toss with the rest of the dressing. Top with cheese crumbles and add salt and pepper to taste.
Make it your own ~
- Any grain will work in a cold salad like this, try wheat berries, wild rice, barley, farro, or rye berries.
Don’t forget to pin this healthy Black Rice Salad!
You can find black rice in larger grocery stores, gourmet stores, and online, here.
There are a few different brands available, and I particularly like Lotus Foods, they have an amazing selection of unusual varieties and they work with small farmers worldwide to champion biodiversity and innovative farming methods. I love to support that through my shopping choices.