Forbidden Black Rice with Roasted Squash, Garlic and Kale

black rice plated3It may look a bit creepy, but isn’t that what Halloween is all about?  I don’t have little goblins running around anymore to make spooky treats, but I still love to play up Halloween in classy, tasteful decorating and in my meals, along with pumpkin in just about everything!

Black rice is also called Forbidden Rice, due to the fact that is was considered the finest grain and only served to the Emperor in ancient China for increased health and longevity and therefore, off limits to the general public.  Black rice is considered a super food having healthful antioxidants equal to blueberries.   The taste is slightly nutty, soft and sticky reminding me of risotto. 

In playing around with various uses, there is one little thing to note….the liquid will turn black so be cautious!  My friend Susan thought she would put the rice in her soup, and unless you find a black broth appealing, I’d find another way to use it!  Pretty much using it as a side, as in this recipe, or pared with dried fruits and nuts as in a pilaf.  I’m also testing it out as a black rice pudding, as I thought it might make for a sexy New Year’s Eve dessert.

For this Halloween meal I decided to add in roasted pumpkin (surprised?), roasted garlic to ward off the vampires and kale to add an eerie green crunch to this black, forbidden dish.  Great on its own or pared with roasted pork, chicken or prawns.

Last year, black spaghetti with garlic and sundried tomatoes intrigued my guests….

Halloween Black Spaghetti and prior to that, for you wine lovers, 7 Deadly Zins Pasta curled up bloody good on a plate!

7 Deadly Zins Pasta

Black Forbidden Rice with Roasted Squash, Garlic and Kale

2 tablespoons ghee or butter

1 small shallot, finely diced

1 cup black rice

2 cups chicken broth or water

1 small pumpkin or butternut or acorn squash, diced

1/2 cup garlic cloves, peeled

2 cups kale, coarsely chopped, stems removed and discarded

kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 420 degrees.  Combine the diced squash and garlic cloves on a large baking sheet lined with Slipat or parchment paper.  Drizzle on olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Roast for about 30-35 minutes, turning once until soft and lightly browned.  On a separate baking sheet, drizzle the kale with olive oil, seasoning with salt and pepper and roast for about 5-10 minutes, being careful to not burn the kale.  To avoid have two pans to clean, I have added the seasoned kale to the roasting squash and garlic pan to finish roasting all together.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, sauté the onion in the butter till soft.  Stir in the black rice and sauté for just a few minutes.  Add in the water, bring to a boil, cover and reduce to a simmer.  Simmer for about 20-25 minutes; some types of black rice need to be cooked longer.  The rice should be soft, creamy but not mushy.  Remove from the heat and fluff with a fork.

Gently add the roasted squash, garlic and kale to the rice, season to taste, plate and serve immediately or at room temperature.  Serves 4-6.






30 thoughts on “Forbidden Black Rice with Roasted Squash, Garlic and Kale

  1. Super cool recipe! I made forbidden rice only once, and stained my Le Creuset pot, requiring some serious scrubbing to get it back to normal 😉

    indeed, that liquid is something!

    loved the combination of colors and I am sure it tasted awesome too!

    1. Wow, I didn’t have that problem with the liquid, though it wasn’t prepared in a Le Creuset pot….because I don’t own one… But when I do, I will definitely remember this!!

  2. I want to come to your house for Halloween, especially for that back pasta and sun dried tomatoes. My step children use to call me Vampire, but I love garlic… 😉

  3. I’m quite sure I’ve never had black rice. I’ll have to look out for it. This looks like a fabulous Halloween dish that would be full of flavour. I do love the black pasta you served up last year! xx

    1. Seeing that black rice has been around for a pretty long time, i.e, ancient China! it is surprising that is not that well known here. Hopefully this will begin the trend, because it is really that chock full of good stuff!

  4. I have some of that Seven Deadly Zins in our pantry right now. I love the look of the black pasta. The dishes do take on a creepy look if you’re featuring them for Halloween, but they have a very appealing taste, I’m sure. I love the look of the ForbiddenBlack Rice with the squash, garlic and kale. Scrumptious!

  5. Oh, this doesn’t look scary!! It looks heavenly!! I’m not sure I’ve heard of black rice before, but it looks really delicious. It definitely is perfect for this time of year with those gorgeous colors… I can’t wait to give it a try! <3

  6. We like black rice a lot and agree with you, it doesn’t go in everything as the color bleeds quite a bit, but I like the purplish hue. 🙂 We like the tender texture and contrast of color — it looks great with the pumpkin and kale! Great dish!

  7. Super spooky recipes! I love kale! This would be a great side dish for the holidays.

    I’m diggin the black spaghetti, pretty cool recipe for Halloween. I’ll have to see if I can find some in time for this year’s Halloween dinner!

  8. Great recipe for Halloween, Linda, and so were those you prepared for the last 2 spooky nights. I’d no idea that Forbidden Rice was so jam-packed with nutrients. With the roasted squash, it looks like the perfect dish for a light-hearted yet macabre-themed evening. Have fun & Happy Halloween!

  9. I have never heard of black rice before, do you need to go to a specialty store to buy it? It sounds yummy! Good luck with the black rice pudding recipe, it does sound sexy for New Years!

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