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Black Rice Salad with Tomatoes and Basil

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We know what’s good for us, and this black rice salad with tomatoes and basil is a refreshingly delightful salad that works as a starter, side, or a main dish! The beautiful combination of colors, fresh flavors, and varying textures make this tasty, healthy bowl of wholesome, hearty foods, a WIN, Every. Single. Time.

Close up of a tomato in a bowl of black rice salad.

Juicy cherry tomatoes, fresh basil, zingy red onion, creamy mozzarella cheese and crunchy pine nuts jazz up the black rice, for a lighter rice-based dish that is simply delicious. This black rice salad is an easy recipe to make, and it also keeps well (always a plus if you like leftovers as much as we do!). Speaking of leftovers, this is the perfect way to use already-cooked black rice. And it makes salad prep a snap!

Our healthy Black Rice Salad with Tomatoes and Basil is also:

  • gluten-free
  • vegetarian
  • dairy-optional (easy to make vegan)
  • ready in 10 minutes!
  • STUNNING, with the vibrant colors contrasting against the black rice for a beautiful presentation!
Two bowls of black rice salad with forks on the side.

What is black rice?

Black rice is a specific species of rice with an impressive nutritional profile! It’s a healthier option than white or brown rice, and is high in antioxidants, protein, and iron. In fact, it’s a nutritional powerhouse. The deep, purplish/black hue that black rice is known for is caused by the amount of anthocyanins (antioxidant pigments) it contains.

Black rice is also called “forbidden rice” because long ago, it used to be reserved for the Chinese emperor to ensure his health and longevity. Since black rice cultivation is also more challenging than other rice varieties, black rice used to be incredibly expensive, only afforded by the most wealthy. Today, however, it’s easy to find at specialty grocery stores and has become more mainstream.

Another rice variety that is a nutritional powerhouse is sprouted brown rice. Have you tried it?

How to make black rice salad

Have you ever made black rice salad? Our version is full of refreshing veggies and topped with a light Dijon-cider vinaigrette.

To make this black rice salad with tomatoes and basil, you will need:

  • cooked black rice
  • cherry tomatoes, halved
  • fresh basil leaves, sliced or chopped
  • red onion, finely sliced
  • fresh mozzarella cheese
  • toasted pine nuts
  • olive oil
  • cider vinegar
  • Dijon mustard
  • sugar
  • salt and pepper
Ingredients needed for black rice salad with tomatoes and basil

preparing the black rice salad

Making the black rice salad is a breeze! Here are the steps:

  1. Combine salad ingredients: Place the black rice, tomatoes, basil, onion, and pine nuts in a large salad bowl and toss to combine.
  2. Make the vinaigrette: Place all of the vinaigrette ingredients in a jar. Seal the jar and shake it, to mix all of the ingredients together. Drizzle all or part of the vinaigrette over the salad and toss.
  3. Serve: Just before serving, sprinkle the bits of fresh mozzarella onto the entire black rice salad (or on individual servings of the salad).

We save the cheese for last because if the salad sits for a while, the black rice pigment will turn the cheese purple.

A bowl of black rice salad with tomatoes and basil.

If you don’t have pre-cooked black rice, you can easily prep some in advance. One cup of uncooked black rice will make 2-1/4 cups of cooked rice, which is the exact amount that this black rice salad calls for. 🙂

If you’re in need of a fast and healthy meal, this Black Rice Salad is where it’s at! Nutritional rice, fresh veggies, and a light vinaigrette make a satisfying combination that’s good for you, too.

SOME OTHER RECIPES WE ARE SURE YOU WILL LOVE:

  • Can’t get enough black rice? These Black Rice Sushi Rolls are so tasty and beautiful! Packed with fresh ahi, crisp radish and carrots and pickled ginger, pile on the wasabi and enjoy!
  • Sweet Potato Kale Salad with Black Rice is a combination of fall flavors! Cumin and cinnamon pair naturally with sweet potatoes, and you can turn this salad into a full meal by adding your protein of choice!
  • This Spicy Blackened Tilapia is a dream! Cajun spices caramelize on the outside to make a delicious, blackened, crispy crust. Best of all, this is an easy weeknight dinner that’s good for you, too.

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Close up of a tomato in a bowl of black rice salad.

Black Rice Salad with Tomatoes and Basil

Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

This wholesome black rice salad is loaded with cherry tomatoes, fresh basil, red onions, mozzarella cheese, and pine nuts. The combination of colors, flavors, and textures makes this salad a delight.

Ingredients

Black Rice Salad

  • 2-1/4 cups cooked black rice
  • 1-1/2 cups cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves, sliced or chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, finely sliced
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted

Dijon-Cider Vinaigrette

  • 1/4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/3 cup cider vinegar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Place the black rice, tomatoes, basil, onion, and pine nuts in a large bowl and toss.
  2. Combine the vinaigrette ingredients in a jar. Seal the jar and shake to blend the ingredients well.
  3. Drizzle all or part of the vinaigrette over the salad and toss.

Notes

  • 1 cup of uncooked black rice will make 2-1/4 cups of cooked rice.
  • If the salad sits for a while then the pigments from the black rice will make the cheese turn a purple color. If you want the cheese to remain bright white then toss the cheese in just prior to serving.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 200Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 99mgCarbohydrates: 34gFiber: 1gSugar: 3gProtein: 4g

Nutrition information is a guideline only, is calculated automatically by third-party software, and absolute accuracy is not guaranteed.

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angiesrecipes

Wednesday 11th of November 2020

Very nutritious and yummy! I simply love the texture and nuttiness of black rice!

Dahn Boquist

Wednesday 11th of November 2020

Me too, it has so much flavor. Thanks Angie

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