An older neighbourhood here has a lovely tradition of holding a community barbeque every summer. Seeing as Boyfriend lives in that neighbourhood, I have attended for the last few years. It is one of the older neighbourhoods in the city with crazy winding, one-way streets populated by older row houses and some stand-alone Victorian beauties. One section of the neighbourhood has a field hidden behind the houses of four separate streets – the perfect spot to hold a barbeque.
Barbeques are provided (one for vegan food only), so participants need only bring food to cook and one dish for the community to share. Local entertainment is provided throughout the barbeque, giving residents a chance to show off their particular abilities. In a world of subdivisions and people generally not getting to know their neighbours any more, it’s a wonderful spot to sit and talk and take in the friendly atmosphere.
I waited a bit late in the day to make my side dish, so I was stuck with whatever was in the pantry. My first thought was to make a pasta salad. Alas, no pasta. Then I thought I would make the quinoa and lentil salad I made last year. Alas, no quinoa. What I did have was a bag of black rice, something I had never cooked before. I didn’t know how it tasted or what would taste good with it. Running out of time, I had to make a decision. So, I decided I couldn’t go wrong with cold rice, some oils, and some seasoning. And it worked!
I boiled two cups of water and added one cup of black rice. Be sure to rinse the rice well before you cook it (and be prepared for the water to become a dark purple). The rice will take about 35 minutes to cook. Ideally, it would have been better to have had the time to let the rice cool for a few hours, or even overnight, before I added the seasoning but, like I said, I was running short on time. After 30 minutes of cooling time, I added a shallot, a generous amount of Herbamare, a dash of hemp oil, a dash of flax oil, and several splashes of Tamari. I mixed it together and left it in the fridge for an hour.
This salad went down a treat. I know I’ve hit on something good when children will eat it and ask for more. I can see this being a go-to dish down the road – something to make when the pantry is bare. Easy to make, tasty to eat, and can be either lunch or a side-dish or a contribution to your own neighbourhood barbeque.