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Chinese Black Rice, Orange, and Avocado Salad
China meets the Southwest in this unusual fusion salad. Glistening black rice—usually sold under the label Forbidden Black Rice or Japonica Black Rice — set off against the bright orange segments and avocado’s pale green gives the mixture striking visual appeal.
- 2 cups cooked Chinese black rice
- 2 cups diced peeled oranges
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- ¼ cup raw, unsalted pumpkin seeds, toasted
- 1½ teaspoons grated orange zest
- ¼ teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
- 1/8 teaspoon ground chipotle
- 1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted, and cut into ½ inch dice
- 4 large lettuce cups or leaves
- Unpeeled orange wedges, for garnish (optional)
Chinese Black Rice:
This rice bleeds beet-red when you rinse it, and once cooked, ends up a striking deep burgundy-black. It holds its shape very well and is pleasantly chewy. With a subtle sweetness and a rich taste, it’s a stunning rice that has everything going for it. Put it high on your list of rices to try.
Rinse the rice. Combine the rice, water, and salt (if using) in a heavy Dutch oven or saucepan. Over high heat, bring to a boil. Skim off any foam floating on the surface. Cover, reduce the heat, and simmer until the rice is tender, 30 to 50 minutes depending on package directions. Let sit, covered, for 5 minutes. Drain off any excess water.
In a bowl, combine the black rice, oranges, orange juice, pumpkin seeds, orange zest, salt, and chipotle. Gently mix in the avocado. Add more salt, if needed.
Place a lettuce cup on each plate and spoon the salad into the lettuce cups or onto lettuce leaves. Garnish with orange wedges, if you wish.