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Forget white rice or even brown rice. Try red rice tonight.

  • For a rice and grain salad that is colorful, hearty and a little out of the ordinary, mix red rice with nutty quinoa. Associated Press Photo

Published: 4/16/2019 11:58:23 AM

Regular white rice; aromatic basmati; chewy, healthy brown rice; and even rustic wild rice are common pantry items. But there’s one rice variety that doesn’t get enough play: red rice.

Red rice sports — surprise — a red husk, and it has a nutty flavor and is highly nutritious. For a rice and grain salad that was colorful, hearty and a little out of the ordinary, we mixed this healthy rice with nutty quinoa, cooking both in the same pot using the pasta method.

We gave the rice a 15-minute head start and then added the quinoa to the pot to ensure that both grains were done at the same time. Then we drained them, drizzled them with lime juice to add bright flavor, and let them cool.

Next, we looked for ingredients that would make this salad fresh and a little sweet. We added dates and orange segments for sweetness (and used some of the orange juice in our dressing).

Cilantro and red pepper flakes added a fresh bite and a bit of spiciness to round it out. If you buy unwashed quinoa (or if you are unsure whether it’s washed), be sure to rinse it before cooking to remove its bitter protective coating (called saponin).

Red rice and quinoa salad


¾ cup red rice

Salt and pepper

¾ cup prewashed white quinoa

3 T lime juice (2 limes)

2 oranges

1 small shallot, minced

1 T minced fresh cilantro, plus 1 cup leaves

¼ tsp. red pepper flakes

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

6 oz. pitted dates, chopped (1 cup)

Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot over high heat. Add the rice and 1 tablespoon of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. Add the quinoa to the pot and continue to cook until the grains are tender (12 to 14 minutes).

Drain the rice-quinoa mixture, spread it over a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle with 2 tablespoons of lime juice and let it cool completely (about 15 minutes).

Meanwhile, cut away the peel and pith from the oranges. Holding the fruit over a bowl, use a paring knife to slice between the membranes to release the segments. Cut the segments in half crosswise. If needed, squeeze the orange membranes to equal 2 tablespoons of juice in the bowl.

Whisk the 2 tablespoons of orange juice, the remaining tablespoon of lime juice, the shallot, the minced cilantro and the pepper flakes together in a large bowl. Whisking constantly, slowly drizzle the mixture with oil. Add the rice-quinoa mixture, dates, orange segments and the remaining 1 cup of cilantro leaves, and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve. Makes four to six servings.


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