Often when I cook I take on different personalities. For this Black Rice Salad w/ Sweet Potatoes recipe I was in Malcolm Wang mode aka the Afro-Asian. Listening to Japanese techno and watching a lot of Korean revenge flicks can put you in a different mindset.
I was up in the wee hours cooking recently. It was about 2:00 in the morning when I decided to take a break from cooking. I sat down to catch-up on one of my favorite Korean dramas, “Rooftop Prince” and it occurred to me that I had big ole bag of Black Rice on hand.
During my years in Chicago living so close to an Asian Grocery Store Jung Boo Market and developed a habit of eating black “forbidden” rice quite often. Black rice in my opinion is superior to brown and white rice in taste and texture. Also, its color lends itself to visually appealing dishes. It has a slight sweetness to it that makes it a nice contrast with savory ingredients or a good combo with other sweet ingredients.
Needless to say I had the makings of a simple dish with so many great qualities – color, taste, health, and texture. Black rice has all the same benefits of brown rice, but is also superior with respect to antioxidants. It’s actually on the same level of blueberries when it comes to antioxidants. Add some pomegranates and sweet potatoes and you get a cholesterol, blood pressure lowering, and heart blockage melting yet still tasty combo. In addition to the health benefits, its just a cool feeling to bite down into the earthy, nutty rice and get that cool tangy burst of pomegranate juice in your mouth after biting into a seed.
This is a simple recipe featuring just a few ingredients (black rice, lime juice, green onions, sweet potatoes, pomegrante seeds, and smoked paprika). The paprika is what gives it that soul food essence. You go into any Big Mama’s or Ma Dear’s cabinet and you will find multiple bottles of this spice.
Black Rice Salad with Sweet Potatoes and Pomegranate Seeds
- 1 cup Black Rice
- 1 medium Sweet Potato (peeled and cut into small cubes)
- 1/4 cup Fresh Pomegranate Seeds
- 1 Bunch Green Onions (chopped)
- 2 tbsp Lime Juice
- 2 tsp Paprika
Cook rice according to package directions. Rinse well with cold water.
Put sweet potatoes in a mixing bowl and add olive oil to coat completely. Season sweet potatoes with kosher salt and black pepper. Roast in oven at 375 for 20-30 minutes until sweet potatoes are fork tender. Set aside and let cool.
Toss rice with remaining ingredients. Add salt and pepper to taste. Feel free to serve immediately, but I actually like to refrigerate and serve cold. This also allows the flavors to come together and balance each out.