Wednesday, June 13, 2012
A salad or room temperature dish seemed like a good idea so I trolled the Internet and found something close to what I wanted with a Black Forbidden Rice with Sugar Snap Peas and Nectarine dish by Giada De Laurentiis. It can be served warm or at room temperature, it has a slightly Asian feeling with fresh ginger and soy sauce and the combination of fruits and vegetables is interesting, too. As usual I had some ideas on how to change the recipe to make it my own.
My version keeps the ginger and the soy sauce, but I add a strong orange note with both orange zest and juice in the dressing. I find that citrus adds a sparkle to both rice and bean dishes. I was out of nectarines, but had just purchased fresh red cherries so I used them.
I had thought that such a good dose of fresh ginger would leave a strong ginger taste in the rice but during the cooking process the ginger is muted and the flavor of the rice shines with just a hint of ginger in the background. I didn't use any hot sauce or other additional heat but after tasting this rice dish I think that you could add a little fresh minced ginger to the dressing or a dash of cayenne if you like your food a bit spicier than I do and it would be a great addition.
By the time I served this dish, the rice was lukewarm. The warm cherry mixture was perfect with the slightly cooler rice and the dressing added just the right mixture of salty and sweet. Sweetie took two helping, so I suspect that this will be a hit with your family, too. If you wish to dress this beautiful rice dish up, you could sprinkle some toasted sliced almonds over it when you are ready to serve it.
Black Forbidden Rice with Cherries
based on a recipe of Giada De Laurentiis'
3 1/2 cups water
2 cups black forbidden rice
1 (1 1/2-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon olive or grapeseed oil
2 stalks celery, sliced
1 green onion, sliced, white part only
6 oz fresh cherries, pitted and halved
1/4 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
1/4 cup grapeseed oil
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
For the rice: In a medium saucepan, bring the water, rice, ginger, and salt to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover the pan, and cook until the rice is tender, about 30 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and place in a large serving bowl.
Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the celery and green onion and sauté for 3-5 minutes, or until onion is translucent. Add the cherry halves and sauté for 2 minutes. Transfer the mixture to the serving bowl with the cooked rice.
For the dressing: In a medium bowl, whisk together the rice vinegar, oil, honey, orange juice, soy sauce and orange zest until smooth.
Pour the dressing over the rice and cherry mixture and toss gently to combine. Serve warm or at room temperature.