insalata di riso nero: black rice salad revisited

So Tuesdays we get up at 5:35am so that Ani can hit the road before 7am to beat the traffic down the Blue Route (our local Philly western beltway I-476) to her 8am chemistry lab class at Widener. Bob takes an hour rest after that to catch up the lost sleep  (his nonteaching day at Villanova this semester), but Ani will return tired from a long day at work needing her nap, leaving dinner responsibility to her partner. Farro was already in mind from a cancelled potluck dinner dish that had to be vegan/vegetarian, so bob goes grousing around the cubbard for the farro, and finds black rice and whole wheat orzo first, then the farro. The black rice awakes other fond food memories and a change of carb base is finalized after considering all three for the part. We had also just seen a chick pea and tuna fish salad a few days earlier on Lidia's Italy, so bob grabs a Bumble Bee can and opens it, but baby shrimp are revealed, so the sea food component is also altered from the original game plan. The half can of chick peas were also left over in the fridge from pasta salad a a few days before . Ripe avocados were not available during our recent shipping trips, so we were down to a half of a leftover avocado. And grape tomatoes were our usual go to tomato choice these days.

We wolfed most of this down with second helpings, leaving only one modest portion for another day. It was satisfying.

These quantities and choices of add-ins are not to be taken seriously here. This is a creative endeavor to be approached with whimsy. Only the black rice needs cooking, the rest is just size reduction. And don't hesitate to try this with farro or whole wheat orzo. Both are nutritious grain products.


3/4 c black Italian rice (or farro or whole wheat orzo, but then rename the recipe!)
1/2 can chick peas
1/4 c  red  onion, diced
1 stalk celery, chopped
1/2 avocado, chopped
1/3 c chopped dark olives
1/2 c chopped hearts of palm sticks
2/3 c quartered grape tomatoes
1 7oz can baby shrimp or tuna fish
1/3 c extra virgin olive oil
1/2 lemon, juice of
salt and pepper to taste
optional arugula


  1. So cook the rice according to directions, about 4 times the amount of water to start, but keep a teapot of simmering water to add more as the water evaporates during 30-40 minutes of simmering. Towards the end of the process, allow the water to evaporate nearly completely but stir it around at the end to avoid burning the rice. Then place in a bowl and into the freezer for about 15 minutes to help cool down quickly if done while prepping the rest of the stuff.
  2. Prep the other stuff, chopping and dicing, whatever, so they are ready.
  3. Squeeze the lemon juice and mix with the olive oil, salt and pepper.
  4. Combine the black rice and all the prepped stuff, then pour the lemon-oil mixture over them and mix them up well.
  5. Adjust the salt. Ani does this for our team.
  6. Serve and enjoy.


  1. Our first attempt at black rice salad.
  2. Another recreated rice salad recipe found while searching for an approximate cooking time for the rice.
  3. Illustrations available.
blackricesalad2.htm: 26-nov-2021 [what, ME cook? © 1984 dr bob enterprises]