Black rice, sometimes called forbidden rice is so dramatic looking. It showcases other colors so well that when I found the most beautiful apricots in the market the other day I immediately thought of putting the two together. I could be happy with just those two things, a pool of black rice with a little apricot half nestled on top but I can’t settle for that, can I? No, I want something exotic and bursting with flavor but not so exotic that it’s difficult to make. This dish is just that, easy but so different and flavorful it will wow your tastebuds with the first bite. This dressing is great with chicken too so if you are a meat eater you can add some cooked chicken to make this dish a meal.
- 1 cup black rice
- 2 cups water
- 6 ripe apricots, halved and pitted
- 1 cup finely sliced green onion
- 6 tbsp pistachios, toasted and roughly chopped
- 3 tbsp canola oil plus a little extra to brush on the apricots
- 4 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp raw honey or coconut nectar
- 2 tbsp fresh parsley, minced
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder (not garlic salt)
- 1/2 tsp sea salt or to taste
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper or to taste
- 3 cups baby arugula or other salad greens (optional)
- Place the rice and water in a pot with a tight fitting lid. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook 40-45 minutes or according to package directions.
- While the rice is cooking heat a grill pan over high heat. Brush the cut sides of the apricots with a little oil and place cut side down on the hot grill pan.
- Reduce heat to medium high and grill for 1-2 minutes or until the apricots have developed nicely browned grill marks and are warmed through but still firm. Remove 6 halves and set aside.
- Reduce the heat to medium and continue to grill the remaining halves until very soft and the juices are starting to pool around them.
- Remove the soft apricots from the grill to the bowl of a food processor and allow to cool slightly.
- Once cooled add the oil, vinegar, honey, garlic, salt and pepper. Process until smooth.
- Add the parsley and pulse to combine.
- In a large bowl combine the rice, onions, pistachios and apricot dressing (see notes). Stir well.
- To serve place 1/2 cup of the arugula on a plate if using. Spoon 1/3 cup of the rice onto the greens and top with 1 grilled apricot half. Best served warm or at room temperature.
Makes 6 servings.
Serving size approximately 1/3 cup of rice and 1 apricot half.
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 259, Cal. from Fat: 92, Total Fat: 10g, Sat. Fat: .5g, Carbs: 36g, Fiber: 4g, Sugars: 8g, Protein: 6g, Sodium: 157mg, Chol: 0mg
You may not need all of the dressing depending on the size of the apricots used. Start with mixing half the dressing into the rice and add more as needed.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.