This vegan black rice salad is tossed in a citrus vinaigrette and topped with crunchy cashews and juicy oranges. This easy grain salad is perfect for a healthy lunch and meal prep.
Citrus season is going strong right now. I’ve been eating everything from Minneola tangerines and Cara Cara oranges to blood oranges and grapefruit. Cannot get enough! This recipe uses both orange juice and lime juice plus fresh orange segments to really boost the flavor. I shared it at my sold-out “Celebrate Citrus” cooking demo this week!
And though spring is right around the corner (the trees think it’s already here), grain salads are always an easy fix all year long. Grain salads are perfect for lunch and meal prep.
They keep well in the fridge and hold up well to a variety of vinaigrettes and toppings. This one combines sweet and tangy lime and orange juice with fruity extra virgin olive oil in a simple vinaigrette.
I’m using Cara Cara oranges in this salad but any sweet navel orange or tangerine (shown below) would work. Just make sure the citrus is as fresh as possible so you get plenty of fresh juice for the vinaigrette. This salad might also work with grapefruit but you may need to add something sweet to offset the tart grapefruit flavor.
The red onions add a hint of spice and the cashews add a pleasant nutty crunch. I chose black rice just for something different. You can certainly use farro, brown rice, or red rice. Quinoa would be OK but I really like a hearty grain for this one. Plus, black rice has some unique health properties.
Black rice health benefits (or forbidden rice)
- Black rice gets its deep purple-black color from anthocyanins – the same pigments that give cherries and blackberries their antioxidant power to potentially help boost heart health and to protect and repair your body’s cells.
- Black rice is a whole grain with a bit more fiber than brown rice.
- It tastes fantastic. With a nutty, chewy bite, black rice is a great addition to the plate.
- Black rice is stunning. It’s honestly a bit hard to photography but you can’t deny its unique beauty.
Where can I get black rice?
Black rice is increasingly available in regular supermarkets and places like Target. But you can easily find it in health and natural food stores like Sprouts and Whole Foods. If you’re not sure you’re ready to commit, look for black rice in the bulk bins and start with about ½ cup.
How to make black rice?
- Combine the rice with broth for a flavorful finish.
- Bring to a boil.
- Cover the rice and broth and cook on low about 25 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and let the rice sit 15 minutes.
- Fluff with a fork before serving.
What to eat with forbidden rice
You can eat black rice as a side for salmon or chicken. It’s delicious in Asian-style recipes. But my favorite way to enjoy it is as a cold or warm salad. Add cooked black rice to grain bowls for a firm, tasty grain. It also holds up well for the week so try it out for meal prep.
Ready for the recipe? Check it out below. Be sure to tag me on Instagram when you make it and pin this recipe for later.
Orange Cashew Black Rice Salad
- 2 cups black rice
- 2¾ cups mushroom broth
- 3 navel oranges
- ¼ cup fresh lime juice
- 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup finely diced red onion
- ½ cup roasted cashew halves
- ½ cup fresh cilantro leaves
- coarse salt and pepper to taste
- optional garnish: chopped green onions
- Combine rice and broth in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce to low heat, cooking about 25 minutes, until the rice is tender. Remove from the heat and let sit 15 minutes before fluffing with a fork.
- Segment the oranges over a medium bowl allowing any juice to fall into the bowl. Place the segments in a separate small bowl. Use a juicer to squeeze the remaining juice from the fruit.
- Whisk the lime juice and olive oil into the orange juice. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add the rice to the bowl. Toss, allowing the rice to soak up the dressing.
- Gently toss in the orange segments, red onion, cashews, cilantro, and green onions (if using). Serve.
Such a great recipe! Thank you!
I love the sound of this recipe for the buffet table at a big party. Can it be prepared a day in advance? Thanks!
Yes. It’s actually great made a day ahead! Just avoid adding any citrus zest (if you’re using it) as that tends to get bitter the longer it sits.
Marisa, thanks for letting me know the salad can be made ahead. One last question: knowing that some people have a strong aversion to cilantro, could tarragon and/or mint be subbed in for the cilantro? Thanks so much!
Yes. Good question. Mint would be my suggestion here but I think either or both would work well.