Thursday, January 9, 2014

Wild Black Rice & Edamame Salad

I don't know how many of you have heard of or watched the show "Chopped." To say that my husband loves it is an understatement, so by default I end up watching it with him. Not that it's boring or lame, I just am not so much a TV person. But in all honesty, it's actually a pretty great time—definitely inspiring and nail-biting to watch talented chefs create not only edible but gourmet dishes from three sometimes-obscure ingredients.

Well, yesterday I found myself at home without a car and the perfect opportunity to pretend I was on "Chopped." I glory in a good challenge, especially when it means being creative with what I already have. So I said, "Okay, Katie. Come up with dinner using only the ingredients in this house." (No cheating and running over to the neighbor's to borrow a tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce.) And I promise, there really wasn't much! I'd gone to Costco the day before and bought coconut oil and grapefruit (and a 2-year supply of kitchen trash bags!), but I hadn't made it to the grocery store after we'd been out of town all weekend.

I looked in our pantry and saw a small bag of wild BLACK rice I'd bought a few months ago just to give it a try, and it definitely called out to me! I'd been wanting to try it. Ingredient number 1. (Ingredients number 2 and 3 were Brussels Sprouts and Rosemary, but those ended up in a veggie side dish and in the main course.)

I googled "wild black rice" recipes and came upon this amazing dish! It's not only pleasing to the eye but also to the tastebuds! I made a few changes to make it my own, as I highly recommend you do too. It's way more fun to cook when you put your personal stamp on your food!

1 tablespoons white sesame seeds
2 cups cooked wild black rice or regular wild rice (This was about 1 cup uncooked rice)
About 1/8 cup red onion, diced (I just cut a 1/2-inch slice from the middle of the onion and then chopped. Use a shallot if you have that instead.)
1 cup shelled edamame
1 medium carrot, peeled and diced small
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1/8 cup rice vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

1. Place the sesame seeds in a small frying pan over medium heat and toast, stirring often, until golden brown. About 5 minutes. Remove from heat and place in a large bowl.
2. Add the rice, onion, edamame, carrots, and cranberries to the bowl and toss.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, sesame oil, rice vinegar, honey, and a few shakes (or cranks) of salt and pepper. Pour over the mixture in the large bowl and toss. Taste to see if it needs more salt, pepper, or vinegar.
4. Cover and chill for at least one hour before eating.
5. Make enough for lunch tomorrow!