Full disclosure: I didn’t intend to post this meal, but when it delighted both palate and eye …. I had to do it. Hence, no how-to pix included. Trust me, it’s worth the effort to try to recreate these two ideal-for-summer-breakfast salads following my words-only directions.
First cultivated in ancient China, black long-grain rice was a rare delicacy, intended for the Emporer alone. So it was called Forbidden Rice. It starts out black but turns a rich shiny purple when cooked. It tastes nutty and somewhat sweet with a suggestion of a woodsy mushroom flavor. The texture is chewy, making it more digestible as a breakfast dish.
For the rice
2 cups Japonica black rice
3 chives with fully open flowers, chopped and flowers flocked
1 cup edamame, steamed and shelled
4 ounces tofu, cut into small ½ inch squares
1 stalk celery, diced
2 pink radishes, cut into half-moon slivers
2 scallions, chopped into micro pieces
3-4 sprigs parsley, chopped or torn
5-6 fresh mint leaves, chopped or torn
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
For the raw salad
1 head oak leaf lettuce
1 bunch green (or red) sorrel
1 head radicchio
about ½ cup purple micro basil
¼ cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
about ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
coarse sea salt, to taste
fresh ground pepper, to taste
Rice: Wash the rice well. Place it with 4 cups water and a 1/ 2 teaspoon of coarse sea salt in a medium pot with a tight-fitting lid. Bring to a boil and then simmer for about 40-50 minutes, checking to see if it is done. When it is done, allow to cool. Note: you can make the rice the day before; refrigerate it before making the salad.
Fry the tofu pieces in grapeseed oil on all sides and dredge on brown paper bag; set aside.
When the rice is cooled to room temperature, add the edamame, fried tofu, celery, radishes, scallions, parsley and mint. Mix well. Add the chopped chives. Pull apart the chive flowers and disperse the petals throughout the salad. Drizzle the olive oil and cider vinegar on top and mix well.
Raw salad: Tear the oak leaf lettuce, sorrel and radicchio into bite-sized pieces and place them in a big glass or ceramic mixing bowl. Add the purple micro basil and toss.
Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper to taste. Yes, fresh ground black pepper is a breakfast option.
Squeeze the lemon and pour it over the salad. Add the olive oil and grated cheese (optional) and mix well. Serve it with the rice salad, chewing each mouthful at least 30 times.
©Nancy Wolfson-Moche 2016