Yesterday was one of those days. One of those days where the weather is stunning, life is good, and I was still a crankster. Perhaps, I was just bummed my weekend in Toronto was over or maybe it was the creepy client who parked himself in my office for most of the afternoon. I don’t know why I didn’t just remove myself from the situation; instead, I froze and tried not to upset him – which, in turn, upset me.
Whatever the reason, I was eager to get in the kitchen and try to cook the bad mood off. I had a bag of Chinese black rice from the St. Lawrence market and a recipe from the NY Times. Black rice (aka forbidden rice) used to be consumed only by emperors and royalty, as it was rare and very nutritious. It is a great antioxidant, high in iron and fiber, and is visually pretty stunning. Plus, it heals bad moods (that last part has not yet been scientifically proven, it may have been the delicious Asian dressing drizzled over it).
Black Rice and Soy Salad With Asian Dressing (Via NY Times)
3 cups cooked black rice (1 cup uncooked, prepared as package describes)
1 red bell pepper, diced
1/3 cup walnut pieces
1 cup edamame
1/2 pound tofu
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons minced chives
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 to 2/3 cup (to taste) sesame ginger vinaigrette (see below)
1. In a large bowl, combine the rice, diced bell pepper, walnut pieces and edamame.
2. Slice the tofu about 1/2 inch thick, and blot with paper towels. Cut into 1/2-inch dice, and toss with the soy sauce. Add to the rice along with the chives and cilantro.
3. Just before serving, toss with the vinaigrette.
Yield: Serves six.
Advance preparation: The rice will keep in the refrigerator for three or four days, and it freezes well. The salad can be assembled several hours before serving, but don’t toss the tofu with the soy sauce until you’re ready to serve it. If you want the rice to be extra flavorful, toss it with the dressing and marinate for a few hours. You can even freeze it in the dressing. ** I also double the vinaigrette and used it as a marinade for another protein (just brushed it on while grilling).
Sesame Ginger Vinaigrette
1 garlic clove, finely minced or puréed
1 teaspoon finely minced ginger
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon brown sugar or agave nectar
5 tablespoons canola oil or light sesame oil
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
1. Place all of the ingredients in a minichop or blender (because the amounts are small, I prefer a minichop) and blend until homogenized.