For a whole host of reasons, we are not having a Christmas tree in our condo this year. First, thanks to Hurricane Sandy, we only have half a floor. Second, we are making a long visit home to the land of cotton blossoms for the holidays. Third, there is a distinct possibility that I am allergic to them (usually that would not be a factor for consideration, but this year, as my doctor put it yesterday, I’m already behind the eight ball!). Finally, all of our Christmas decorations are in storage, as we eagerly anticipated the possibility of having sold our condo by now. By the way, yes, the whole losing our floor bit really put a damper on our plans to get this place on the market in a hurry. On the plus side, we know we will be passing on a mold-free, beautifully re-floored and re-doored apartment to the eventual owners, and that is a nice, cozy feeling!
Because we don’t have any holiday decorations up, my soul has been longing for some traditional seasonal color and sparkle. Say hello to Christmas on a plate!
Aren’t the colors gorgeous? We had a bit of black rice left over in the pantry from the last time we made Broiled Salmon with Spicy Greens and Black Rice, and green beans that didn’t all make it into this fabulous dish. Tiny clementine segments and small diced red onion are fantastic, but the star on top is the pomegranate seeds. Breaking into the luscious, glimmering interior of a pomegranate is an aesthetically satisfying experience for me. You can see why some scholars believe the fruit in the garden that tempted Adam and Eve was not an apple, but this glorious jewel box of an hundred rubies.
A light vinaigrette to pull all the flavors together, and your salad is complete. We had ours with garlic crusted lamb chops; how would you serve it? Do you have a food that sings “Happy Holidays” to your soul? Leave a note in the comments below, and tell me all about it!
This recipe is great for those on the Allergy Elimination Diet. IF you are testing for citrus (i.e. have eliminated citrus from your diet) be sure to substitute another fruit or veg. for the clementine slices! Fresh carrot slices would give the same beautiful color and a fantastic crunch to boot! This salad opens itself to a world of easy substitution; play around and make it your own.
Black Rice Jewel Box Salad
serves 4-6 as a side
2 cups of cooked rice, cooled slightly
1/4 of a small red onion, small dice
2 clementines (or carrots), segmented (or slices)
handful of fresh green beans, sliced on the diagonal
1 Tbs sherry or red wine vinegar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp dijon mustard
1/2 tsp maple syrup
2 1/2 Tbs olive oil
Assemble salad. Place vinegar and salt in mason jar or bowl, and agitate until salt has dissolved. Add mustard and maple, and shake or whisk to combine. Now add oil, and shake it like a piggy bank!