Roasted Vegetables with Forbidden Rice
Jewel-toned roasted vegetables can steal the spotlight at any meal. Roasted Vegetables with Forbidden Rice features burgundy beets, green Brussels sprouts, and orange butternut squash. So pretty especially when nestled on a mound of black rice!
Black rice is stunning. It is black when raw, but once it’s cooked it takes on an intense purple hue. Still stunning.
I’m intrigued by anything called “forbidden,” aren’t you? In ancient China, a local variety of black rice was only served to wealthy aristocrats. Everyone else was forbidden to eat it.
There are around 20 different varieties of black rice in the world. The one featured here is Japonica. It is grown in California and is excellent in vegetable salads like this one.
Because of the anthocyanin pigment which gives the rice its deep color, it has more antioxidants than brown or white rice. More pluses? A nutty flavor and a satisfyingly chewy texture.
If you have never roasted vegetables, please do so asap. It will change your relationship with them forever. Roasted vegetables taste different than their boiled and steamed counterparts.
The veggies lose moisture as they roast, which intensifies their flavors. The heat of the oven also helps to release their natural sugars and leads to caramelization. That’s what makes those edges beautifully brown.
The steps to perfect roasted veggies:
- Heat. Turn it up. High oven temps (anything over 400 F/204 C) will ensure that the veggies get crisp-tender and develop brown edges.
- Space. Give them room. Piling too many on the pan will cause them to steam and get soggy. Place them in a single layer with space in between the pieces.
- Size. Cut them the same size. Small pieces cook quicker than larger ones.
- Fat. Oil the pieces. But not too much.
- The components of this dish can be prepared in advance and assembled on the day of. Dress with the vinaigrette just before serving.
- Can’t find or don’t want to order black rice? Replace it with white or brown, but don’t expect people to ooh and aah over it.
- This makes a delicious side dish at any meal, or a stunning main entrée paired with this pumpkin soup.
Many thanks to Ciao Florentina for the autumn salad recipe.Print
- 2 beets
- 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 lb. Brussels sprouts, halved
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 ½ cups black rice
- 2 ½ cups water
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 sections of orange peel
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ cup shallot, finely chopped
- 3 Tbsp white wine vinegar
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp orange zest
- 4 tsp Dijon mustard
- 2 tsp maple syrup
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400 F/204 C. Grease a rimmed baking sheet with oil.
- Wrap the beets in aluminum foil and roast for 1 hour or until tender to the core. Unwrap the beets and allow them to cook slightly before removing the skin (it should peel right off). Cut beets into 1-inch cubes and set aside.
- Toss the butternut squash and Brussels sprouts with oil and spread them out in a single layer on the prepared pan. Roast for 35 minutes until tender but still holding their shape. You can roast them at the same time you roast the beets.
- Make the rice by combining the rice, water, bay leaf, orange peel, and salt in a medium saucepan. Cover with a top and bring it to a simmer over medium-high heat. Lower the heat to medium-low and continue to cook covered for 30 minutes or until rice is tender and water is absorbed. Remove from heat and set aside leaving the cover on.
- Make the vinaigrette by adding the shallot, vinegar, lemon juice, orange zest, mustard, maple syrup, and olive oil to a small mason jar. Screw on the lid and shake to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Assemble the salad by mounding the rice on a platter or in a large bowl. Arrange the roasted vegetables on top of the rice. You can mix them together or place them in blocks of color. It will be beautiful however you do it. Give the vinaigrette a shake and pour it over everything before serving.
Keywords: roasted vegetables with forbidden rice