Forbidden Rice Salad With Mango, Asparagus, Peppers, & Pomegranate Arils

We just returned from a trip to Florida, and decided to drive due to the limitations of flying during the Pandemic. Here in Michigan almost everyone wears masks and adheres to social distancing recommendations. As we drove further south howver, there were less and less masks being worn and folks would even look at me oddly because I wore one. It felt good to get back to Michigan Monday to see folks still wearing masks in public. With the continual rise in new Covid-19 cases we all have to continue to be vigilant to flatten the curve.

With the arrival of warmer days, we tend to eat a lot more salads in my house, and I love mixing things up by using unusual grains and vegetable and fruit combinations. I think forbidden rice is a fantastic ingredient to use in salads. As well as having a very cool black color, since black rice doesn’t undergo any refining or processing, it retains its antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. It isn’t easy to describe the taste of black rice, but I would compare the flavor as similar to farro as it has a subtle nutty flavor. I’ve only used forbidden rice in salads such as this one, but it can be used in dishes in place of other types of rice and is often used in desserts.

A few weeks back, I craved a crunchy salad and pulled out a box of forbidden rice to use as my base. To complement the gorgeous black rice, I decided to add some veggies with color and crunch, such as red and orange bell peppers, asparagus, mango, and pomegranate arils. This salad packs well and can be enjoyed year-round. It complements grilled meat perfectly, making it a great summer side. For the dressing, I made my favorite Dijon mustard vinaigrette with just a little honey, and it finished the salad off perfectly.

Buon Appetito!
Deborah Mele 2020

Forbidden Rice Salad With Mango, Asparagus, Peppers, & Pomegranate Arils

Forbidden Rice Salad With Mango, Asparagus, Peppers, & Pomegranate Arils

Yield: Serves 4-6
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

A colorful, crunchy salad packed full of flavor and nutrition.


For The Rice:

  • 1 Cup Forbidden Rice
  • 2 Cups Water

For The Salad:

  • 1 1/2 Cups Colored Bell Peppers, Chopped Into 1/2-inch Dice
  • 3 Green Onions, Chopped
  • 1 1/2 Cup Mango, Flesh Diced Into 1/2-inch Pieces
  • 1 Cup Blanched Asparagus, Cut Into 1-inch Dice
  • 2 Tablespoons Chopped Fresh Parsley
  • 2 Tablespoons Chopped Fresh Mint
  • 3/4 Cup Pomegranate Arils


  • 3 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Zest & Juice From 1 Medium Lime
  • 1 Garlic Clove, Minced
  • 1 Teaspoon Grated Fresh Ginger
  • 2 Teaspoons Honey
  • 1 Teaspoon Dijon Mustard
  • 1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper To Taste


    1. Rinse the rice and place in a medium sized saucepan with the water.
    2. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook until rice is tender to the bite, about 25 minutes.
    3. Place rice in a bowl and refrigerate to cool.
    4. In a large bowl, mix the rice with the salad ingredients and toss to mix.
    5. In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients, then pour over the salad and toss to mix well.
    6. Taste, adjust salt and pepper as needed.
    7. Serve and enjoy!
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 436Total Fat: 28gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 23gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 163mgCarbohydrates: 46gFiber: 5gSugar: 26gProtein: 4g

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