Rice salad is somewhat of a guilty pleasure for me. Not as obvious as potato or macaroni salad, a rice salad is so much more versatile. No need to add all the mayonnaise and unhealthy fat to get full flavor. A little bit of rice vinegar is all I need to down a monster bowl of rice.
Grain salads are popular around the world, but I rarely see them in the states. Instead, Americans seem to prefer over processed, non-nutritious white rice. I blame Uncle Ben’s.
Did you know that there are thousands of varieties of rice? Some scientists think there is close to 140,000 varieties. That figure blew my mind!
The rice for this dish is called forbidden rice, or black rice. It was a tightly kept secret and protected in Asia for many years. Lucky for us, the secret is out.
This particular rice salad is eye catching and healthy all in one. Forbidden rice is high in amino acids, carotene and other nutrients. Some people even use the words “super food” to describe it. One of my favorite things about this rice is the texture. Not as soft as white rice, black rice is similar to brown rice with a slightly chewy texture and nutty taste.
If black rice is unavailable to you, try using brown rice or bulgur wheat.
Serve this eye-catching salad as a side dish or a light meal.
Forbidden Rice Salad with Edamame and Avocado
- 2T chive vinegar (sub any flavored vinegar you wish)
- 2T hazelnut oil (sub peanut or olive oil)
- 1t honey
- 1/2t salt
- 1/2t pepper
- Pinch cumin powder
- 1T ginger paste
- 1-2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1T lime juice
- 2c cooked black rice
- 1 avocado, diced
- 3 green onions, sliced
- ½c sliced almonds, toasted
- 1c edamame
- 1/4c cilantro, chopped
- 1 green or red chile, thinly sliced (optional)
Combine all of the dressing ingredients in an empty jelly jar and shake until your heart is content (Tall Dark & Handsome says his heart is already content and prefers not to shake, but to drizzle). The more you shake, the thicker the dressing will become. Set aside.
In a large bowl, add all the ingredients of the salad and gently toss together. Pour dressing over the mix and toss again.
Serve chilled or at room temperature.
*A note on the oil and vinegar combination. The flavors of this salad can be changed drastically depending on the oil and vinegars used. Example: black vinegar and peanut oil will taste very different than balsamic vinegar and olive oil. I used homemade chive vinegar, this was achieved by steeping chive blossoms in white vinegar until the liquid turns pink.