Black Rice and Roasted Beet Salad
  • 2 cups cooked black rice, cooled (one cup of dry rice makes about 2 cups cooked)
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • 2 cups red leaf lettuce, torn into bite sized pieces (next time I'll try spinach)
  • 1 10.5oz can mandarin oranges, drained
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, white or black
  • 1 lb roasted tin foil beets, cooled
Orange Sesame Vinaigrette
  • ½ cup fresh orange juice (from 2 large naval oranges)
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon hot chili sauce, like Sriracha
  • 1 teaspoon microplaned or finely minced ginger
  1. To Roast Beets: If using small beets, say golf ball size, then don’t bother to peel. (The peels will slide off easily when cooked.) Just slice in half, wrap in tin foil, place in baking dish and roast. But if using big beets that you’re more likely to find in January and February, peel them and then slice top down into segments (like orange slices) that are about ¾ of an inch thick at their widest. Then, keeping all the slices together in a neat package, place on tin foil and wrap so that it can easily be unfolded from the top. Roasting times vary, but do at least an hour at 400 F. They’re ready when easily pierced with a fork. Be careful when handling, because there will be a lot of red beet juice ready to drizzle out.
  2. Then toast the sesame seeds. Preheat a small, heavy bottomed pan over low/medium heat. Add the sesame seeds and stir often for about 2 minutes. Use a spatula to toss continuously for another minute or so, until they are varying shades of toasty brown. Remove from pan ASAP to prevent burning.
  3. Mix together the Orange Sesame Vinaigrette. Pour the dressing into a large mixing bowl. Add black rice, dried cranberries and lettuce. Using tongs, toss to coat. Add mandarin oranges and sesame seeds, and toss again. Lastly, fold in the beets. Serve. (The salad will become a deeper purple color the longer it sits.)
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