With superior nutrition, forbidden rice was once reserved and served only to Chinese emperors to insure longevity and health. Cultivated for more than 10,000 years, whole grain black rice delivers a nutty, slightly sweet flavor and chewy texture that transforms into a hearty, low calorie base for vegetables, nuts, and dried fruit. A year round salad particularly good in the fall & winter served alongside fowl, it is also refreshing filling plate in summer served cold, this broccolini and rice version holds up well after refrigeration, but is also a gorgeous Thanksgiving make-in-advance side dish.
cuisine American
difficulty Simple
season Year Round
serves 4 to 6


  • 1 cup black rice
  • 1 3/4 cup water
  • 2 bunches broccolini, cut into 1
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 6 to 8 cloves roasted garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts


  1. In a medium pot, bring rice and water to a boil. Reduce heat to a low-simmer, cover with a tight-fitting lid, and cook for 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from heat (keep covered) and let the rice steam for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
  2. In a small skillet, toast the pine nuts over low heat until fragrant and golden. Remove from heat and reserve.
  3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the broccolini and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, or until still crunch but a knife point can slide into the stems without force. Drain and plunge the broccolini into an ice bath to stop the cooking and preserve the bright green color.
  4. Add the rice, broccolini, dried fruit, garlic,  pine nuts, olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper to a serving bowl or platter and thoroughly toss to combine. 
  5. Serve warm, at room temperature, or refrigerate and serve cold.