I have a confession to make. I’m in love with blood oranges. Dave and I have already eaten through an entire bag we picked up on Saturday, and I’ve picked up 3 more bags since. Sooooo yeah you can say I have a pretty unhealthy addiction to them :) Could be worse right? What's better is that I was able to make this DELICIOUS Black Rice Salad with Blood Orange Dressing.
Have you tried blood oranges? You simply must. I have to admit, you will never, ever, ever look at an orange the same way though! These little babies are just SO ORANGEY. <– definitely just made up that word but it’s so true. These are sweet and have a more pronounced orange flavor, not to mention they are juicy and so stinking delicious! You better believe I’m obsessed with these.
So naturally I’ve had them with ever meal. The juice. The juice makes the most gorgeous salad dressing. And it’s bright red. Hello Valentine’s Day salad dressing. I’m stocking up on these babies (will likely buy 5-6 bags this weekend) so if you live in NC, sorry you probably can’t find them because I bought them all.
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Here is the thing, blood oranges are seasonal. I’ve checked the specialty grocery stores every week since Christmas. I was like a giddy little kid in the store the other day when they finally made their appearance (ask Dave – I might have jumped up and down). Judging me yet? LOL
This Black Rice Salad is seriously everything perfect about this time of year. It’s got pomegranates, butternut squash, black rice, parsley and this gorgeous blood orange dressing that I want to pour on everything.
Yes it’s a rice salad. No don’t be afraid of carbs – EAT THE CARBS! They will fuel your body. They help your brain function. They are DELISH! Black rice, like brown rice, has the bran still intact, so it is a “whole food” and hasn’t been processed to remove the beneficial fiber. What I love about black rice? It turns purple when you cook it, and it has a very nutty flavor similar to brown rice; but a little nuttier. That being said, brown rice would be a great substitute for black rice if you don’t have access to black rice. The blood orange might give your brown rice a dye job though.
Don’t even get me started on pomegranates. I eat at least one a week. I’d eat more, but you gotta vary your fruits and veggies – apples need love too ;) You can substitute kabocha squash or acorn squash in this recipe, but I think the butternut is perfection. But hey that's just me!
If you loved this Black Rice Salad, be sure to look at these other amazing salads. They're great for lunch or dinner!
Black Rice Salad with Blood Orange Dressing
- 1 cup black rice - uncooked
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup organic vegetable broth
- 2 cups cubed roasted butternut squash
- 1 cup canned chick peas - drained and rinsed
- 3-4 tablespoons pomegranate seeds
- 1/4 cup fresh flat leaf parsley - minced
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 2 Juice of 1-2 blood oranges
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- 2 tbs. white balsamic vinegar - or white wine vinegar
- 1 tbs. olive oil
- Prepare rice using 1 cup of water and 1 cup of vegetable broth. Allow to cook for 30 minutes over medium low heat after bringing to a boil, or as directed.
- Add 1 tsp. olive oil to rice once done cooking. Transfer to a glass bowl and allow to cool down.
- Cube and roast peeled butternut squash in oven at 425 for 20-30 minutes while rice is cooling.
- Take out of the oven and allow to cool.
- Add buternut squash, chickpeas and pomegranate seeds. You may want to reserve a few tablespoons of the chickpeas and the butternut squash for the top if you are presenting this to a crowd, as the rice tends to bleed a little.
- In a small bowl, juice the blood orange(s). Add maple syrup and vinegar. While whisking this mixture, slowly stream in about 1 tbs. olive oil. Add salt and pepper to your liking.
- Pour dressing over the rice mixture. Stir until combined thoroughly.
- Sprinkle reserved chickpeas and butternut squash over the top for presentation.
- This dish is great at room temperature or cold.
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- Have you ever had a blood orange or black rice?
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