Black rice, also known as forbidden rice, is being touted by Wellness gurus everywhere as a possible "perfect carb" due to its' slow digesting properties, and its high protein and high antioxidant values. This salad is quick, easy and very flavorful. It's a great crowd pleaser--which is always a plus in my book.
My sister-in-law came up with this recipe on a whim when she was looking to please one such crowd. It was an instant hit, and It has been a favorite around here ever since. Finding out that black rice is now being labeled an up and coming superfood makes me love it that much more.
You can find it more and more in grocery stores that have specialty sections; I buy mine for a fraction of the mega-grocery store's cost at a locally-owned and operated Asian market.
1 ½ cups black or purple rice (sometimes called forbidden rice)
3 cups water
½ cup balsamic vinegar
4 cups baby spinach
2-3 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic
1/3 cup crumbled feta or ricotta salata cheese or baked tofu
Sea salt & fresh ground pepper, to taste
Optional ingredients: fresh basil and green onions, to garnish
1 – Place rice and water in pot with lid. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 25-30 minutes or until rice is tender and water has been absorbed. Set aside to cool completely.
2 – Place balsamic vinegar in shallow pan and bring to a boil, reduce heat to a slow boil and allow to reduce by a little more than 2/3 or to about 3 tablespoons. It will be thick and syrupy (watch close to end to make sure it doesn’t scorch).
3 – Blend balsamic reduction into rice. Add olive oil and slightly crushed clove of garlic into balsamic pan and warm slightly until garlic is fragrant. Remove clove and discard. Toss in spinach until just wilted. Mix oil mixture and spinach in with rice.
4 – Add cheese and salt and pepper to taste.
5 – Chill for at least one hour prior to serving.
For 1/8 of recipe (approximately 3/4 cup)