Black Rice Salad with Kale

by Apr 18, 2024

The deep purple hue and nutty texture of black rice (Lotus Foods’ Forbidden Rice) make it one of my favorite whole grains for salads. This recipe was inspired by Roberto Martin’s Barley and Kale Salad in Vegan Cooking for Carnivores.

Any wine vinegar will do. Recently, I’ve been focused on using up a delicious bottle of Blood Orange vinegar from Yellowstone Vinegar Company that I picked up at Joe’s Parkway. Citrus works well with the flavors in this salad.


Black Rice Salad

makes a lot, like 8–10 servings


  • 1 15-ounce package Lotus Foods' Forbidden Rice, cooked yields 6 cups
  • 1 bunch kale green curly or dino
  • 1 tablespoon wine vinegar or a spritz of fresh lemon or orange
  • ¾ cup pecans, toasted per instructions below Reserve for serving time to preserve crunch
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced or spring onions, if available
  • ¾ cup dried cranberries or dried cherries or goji berries


  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil California Olive Ranch
  • 2 tablespoons wine vinegar
  • 1 heaping tablespoon Dijon mustard Edmond Fallot
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt or flake salt Maldon
  • a few twists freshly ground black pepper


  1. Cook the rice according to package instructions or use a rice cooker. Cool rice to room temperature.

  2. Rinse the kale in water and dry on a clean towel. Remove stem and slice leaves thinly. Place in a serving bowl, sprinkle with a tablespoon of vinegar (or a spritz of fresh lemon or orange), and massage with your hands to tenderize the leaves.

  3. Toast pecan halves in oven until fragrant, about 8 minutes at 350°F. Transfer to a plate to cool and reserve until serving time.

  4. Add rice, sliced green onions, and cranberries to the kale.


  1. Mix Dijon, vinegar, salt, and pepper in a small bowl or jar then whisk in the olive oil. Drizzle over the rice salad and gently combine. Serve chilled or at room temperature. Top with or pass the toasted pecans, so people can add if they wish.

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