A light, delicious, healthy salad made with the ancient grain known as forbidden rice.
If you’re like most people, on the weekends you indulge in foods you might otherwise steer clear of during the week. Going out to dinner, sipping a specialty cocktail, or attending a tail-gate, are all enjoyable weekend activities that none of us should miss out on, but they usually involve the consumption of extra calories. Hey – that’s what weekends are for – enjoy it!! Monday is right around the corner and that’s when most of us are happy to get back to our normal eating patterns. If I’ve had a particularly indulgent, food-filled weekend, I like to eat really healthy on Monday – something like this Black Rice Salmon Salad with Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette is perfect. It’s light, yet satisfying, and the main ingredient is black rice which has some amazing nutritional benefits.
Black rice is high in a particularly powerful type of antioxidant called anthocyanin (also found in blueberries and blackberries). Anthocyanin is thought to boost brain function and is linked to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer. Black rice is also a good source of fiber and iron. These health benefits are impressive but the main reason you’ll want to eat black rice is because it’s delicious. It tastes of a roasted nuttiness and is mildly sweet and spicy. It pairs well with a wide range of foods which is why I chose it for this Black Rice Salmon Salad with Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette.
I love the contrast of colors in this dish. The pinkish-orange salmon against the black rice, with flecks of cucumber and lemon zest, make a beautiful presentation, and somehow food always tastes better when it looks pretty! Prettiness aside, Black Rice Salmon Salad with Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette is one of the best uses ever for leftover salmon. Whenever I plan to serve salmon for dinner I always buy extra so that I can make this salad or Farro Salmon Salad.
Black rice is an ancient grain and has been a staple crop of nearly every Asian population for thousands of years. It’s commonly referred to as forbidden rice because it was once reserved for emperors, and other noble Chinese men, and its consumption by commoners forbidden. Black rice was introduced into the U.S. market back in the 1990’s and is gaining in popularity. It’s still not as widely available as white or brown rice, but most well-stocked grocery stores carry it and you can easily find it on-line. And when you do, be sure to make Black Rice Salmon Salad with Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette for fabulous lunch or light dinner.
- 1 cup black rice
- 8 ounces cooked salmon, flaked
- ½ cup fresh dill, roughly chopped
- 1 small cucumber, chopped (cut ½ inch thick slices, then cut the slices into quarters)
- 1 small bunch of scallions, chopped (white and light green parts)
- 2 tablespoons capers
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- Cook the black rice according to package directions and let cool. Combine the rice, salmon, dill, cucumber, scallions, capers, and lemon zest.
- Whisk the vinaigrette ingredients together and pour over the rice mixture. Toss everything together thoroughly.
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