Black rice salad
This unusual whole food rice, with its highly beneficial health properties, is becoming increasingly popular in Italy, appearing on restaurant menus and on supermarket shelves. Originating in China, black rice was favoured by ancient emperors for its nutritional and aphrodisiacal properties, hence the name venere (deriving from Venus). It is now cultivated in the rice fields of
northern Italy. It is a perfect rice for salads and makes a delicious, healthy lunch or, if made in a larger quantity, is ideal to serve at parties.
Cooking time: 20-25 minutes
Portions: serves 4
- 300 g/10½ oz/1½ cups black rice (riso venere)
- ½ red (bell) pepper, finely chopped
- ½ yellow (bell) pepper, finely chopped
- 2 avocados, finely chopped
- 6 cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 200 g/7 oz mozzarella or feta, cut into small cubes about 12 chives, finely chopped
- 50 g/1¾ oz/⅓ cup pomegranate seeds
- 6 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Sea salt, to taste
Place the rice in a saucepan with double its volume of cold water (about 700 ml/24 fl oz/3 cups). Place over a medium heat, bring to the boil, then turn the heat down and gentlysimmer for 15–17 minutes, until al dente. Meanwhile, prepare the vegetables, mozzarella and chives. Drain the rice, rinse under a cold running tap to cool, then drain well again. Place in a serving bowl, together with the vegetables, mozzarella, chives and pomegranate seeds. Drizzle with the olive oil and lemon juice, sprinkle over some salt, to taste, and mix together well.