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Thursday, June 21, 2012

A Spicy Sweet Summer Salad That Packs a Nutritious Punch

Bon Appetit magazine is my bible when it comes to cooking. Any time I entertain, I turn to it. And, trust me, I have never gone wrong with a recipe a la Bon Appetit - of course, that's because a lot of their creations are ultra decadent (read: not very healthy) and almost sinfully divine.

But, alas, I stumbled upon the best of both worlds flipping through this month's issue. The black rice salad pictured below is a perfect combination of spicy and sweet, and of nutritious and delicious. And it tastes so good, it's hard to believe it's good for you (did I just steal someone's product slogan?).

Photo props to Bon Appetit
Here's the recipe (Caveat: I'm big on simplifying recipes so the one below is altered for ease of preparation - and to add a lot of extra peanuts. But it only cuts out the pain-in-the-butt and, in my mind, unnecessary steps, but none of the good stuff, I promise) -

Ingredients (makes 6-8 servings... or just 2 if you eat as much of this as I did in one sitting):

- 2 cups black rice (dry) (Lotus Foods Forbidden Rice recommended)
- 2 oranges
- 2 just ripe mangoes
- 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
- 1 cup finely chopped red onion
- 2 cups unsalted, dry-roasted peanuts
- 2 jalapeños, seeded, minced
- 6 scallions thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (I highly recommend frank olive oil for obvious reasons)
- 1/4 cup (or more) of lime juice

Making it happen:

Combine olive oil and lime juice in a bowl, whisk and set that bad boy aside. Cook black rice (just follow the instructions on the bag). Peel oranges. Using a small, sharp knife, cut between membranes to release orange segments, and cut orange segments into smaller pieces if you'd like. Peel, pit and dice mangoes (great how-to video here). Combine cooked black rice, oranges, mangoes, cilantro, red onion, scallions, peanuts and jalapeños in a medium bowl. Toss with olive oil and lime juice dressing. Season with a bit of salt and more lime juice if it rocks your boat.

On the go:

Double the recipe and you'll have lunch for the week!

And if you're a true foodie or love to cook and are happy to follow all the painstaking preparations in the original recipe (hint: you have to collect the juice from the oranges, coat the rice with it and toast it in the oven), you can find the original recipe here.

Happy and healthy eating!

oxox roxy