I would have actually liked it if rice was thrown at me when I wed. And it would have been great if it was black rice. Why? Because one spoonful (probably the equivalent of what you might throw at the bride and groom), has more antioxidants than blueberries and may play a role in the prevention of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, has lots of fiber and is a great source of vitamin E. Could black rice be the new brown rice? Possibly so, and I for one am game to keep including black rice in my diet.
After a good search of black rice, I found a great one from the Venere company, an Italian maker of fine food products. Chewy with a great bite and flavor, my favorite way to prepare black rice so far is in cool salads. Its dark exotic flavors pair well with crunchy veggies and slightly sharp dressings. But try black rice in ways you typically use brown rice. It’s so good perhaps it will indeed replace even white rice at the next nuptials you may be invited to!
ITALIAN BLACK RICE SALAD
1 cup Venere Italian Black Rice
1 3/4 cup water
2 large tomatoes, cut into small cubes
1 medium yellow pepper, cored, seeded and diced
2 scallions, minced
1 celery stalk, chopped
10 basil leaves, chopped
3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 garlic clove, minced
½ tsp sugar
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Garnish: toasted almond slivers or toasted pine nuts
1. Soak the rice overnight in a large bowl of water. Drain very well.
2. Bring the water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add 1 teaspoon of salt. Add the soaked rice and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover and simmer for 35 minutes or until tender.
3. Turn the rice out of the saucepan into a large bowl and let cool.
4. Meanwhile prepare all the vegetables and add to a serving bowl.
5. Prepare the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, garlic and sugar. Slowly in a thin stream, whisk in the oil until the dressing is emulsified. Season well with salt and pepper.
6. When the rice has cooled, add the rice to the vegetable and add the dressing. Mix well.
7. Garnish the salad with almonds or pine nuts.