Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Forbidden Black Rice
Forbidden rice is a short-grained, heirloom rice. Legend tells us that this ancient grain was once eaten exclusively by the Emperors because of its nutritiousness and rarity. Today, this medium-size Chinese black rice can be enjoyed everyday and is prized for its delicious nutty taste, soft texture, and beautiful rich deep purple color. High in nutritional and medicinal value, Forbidden Rice is rich in iron and considered a blood tonifier. Unlike other black rice from Asia, it is not glutinous or rough and cooks in only 30 minutes to produce a superior flavor, texture, and color.
It is purple when raw and dark purple when cooked.
Forbidden rice has recently appeared on the shelves of health food stores in the western United States along with other heirloom rices such as Bhutanese red rice and wild rice, particularly in California; desire for non-genetically modified foods has also contributed to demand for this rice. It is popular with vegetarians and vegans because it has a favorable nutrition profile being high in fiber and mineral content. Like most rice, it supplies several important amino acids; additionally, the deep color of black forbidden rice suggests the presence of phytonutrients.
When cooked, forbidden rice has the smell of freshly-popped popcorn and turns the water that it is boiling in a brilliant purple color. It has a deep, nutty taste.
Forbidden Black Rice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 medium onion, small diced
1 red pepper, diced
1/2 cup diced leeks
2 garlic cloves
1 cup forbidden black rice
1 3/4 cup chicken stock
4 ounces spinach leaves
1. Heat a small sauce pot over medium heat. Add oil and when hot add the onions, red pepper, and leeks. Sauté for 2 minutes then add garlic. Continue to cook for two minutes then stir in the rice.
2. Add the stock and bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer and cook covered for 30 minutes. Just before serving fold spinach into hot rice. Season with sea salt and fresh ground pepper.
* For added richness add 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter before serving.