Black Rice Salad

Recreating Nana's magic


My Nana is my real live Martha Stewart, minus the incarceration. She is an amazing cook, a master gardener, an avid volunteer in our community, a docent at a local historic home and museum, a rare jazz records listener, a champagne drinker, [a joker, a smoker, a mid-night toker] and honestly, just an all around amazing woman. I wish that I had been brought up learning to cook at her knee, but life did not allow that, and so now, later in life, I merely try to imitate her as much as possible. Though, more like Martin Lawrence than Martha Stewart. DAMN, GINA!

Because I love you like Britney Spears loves Cheetos (Orannnnnge Fingah! Sung in the melody of “Goldfinger”), I am going to share my favorite Nana recipe with you today. But, before I do, I need to talk about some kind of gross, intestinal things. I speak from experience here.
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This recipe is so chockfull of goodness that you will want to eat it for many days in a row. And since it yields a metric shit-ton (actual measurement), you could eat it every day for a week with no problems. Unless you make it for a party, especially a chick party like a baby shower, at which point you will find that there are no leftovers because it is that good. Anyway, back to your innards. You know that Scrubbing Bubbles commercial? Well, on about the fourth day of eating this in a row, your colon will feel as if it has been scrubbed with those little cartoon MFers. Your experiences at this point may actually make you scream out, “DAMN GINA!” But, you know what? You won’t care. Because Nana, like Martha (and BRITNEY!), is magical. And so is this salad.

Black Rice Salad

16 oz wild rice (I buy the bag of wild rice at Trader Joe's that is all black wild rice)
6 oz Feta cheese, crumbled
1 yellow pepper, finely diced (I do a teeny tiny dice of the peppers and onion)
1 red pepper, finely diced
½ green pepper, finely diced
½ red onion, finely diced
2/3 cup pine nuts (toasted)
1/2-3/4 cup Craisins or Dried Cherries


1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper

Cook rice and allow to cool completely. Oftentimes, I will cook the rice the day before, and allow it to cool in the refrigerator overnight. Toast pine nuts in a dry skillet over medium-low heat. Watch them carefully, as they can burn quickly. As soon as you can smell them toasting, they are good to go. Mix feta cheese, red pepper, onion, Craisins and pine nuts in a large bowl. Mix together with rice and add dressing. Can be made a day in advance.

Mentioned in this article


  • Martin who? Gina who? Little cartoon MFers? Could this possibly get any worse?

    Nov 15, 2011 at 1:49 AM

  • Snooth User: ellen430
    659751 5

    The way you describe this make me want to try it!!!! I know Martin, Gina and the others. LOL

    Nov 15, 2011 at 7:57 AM

  • Snooth User: DucPilot
    275309 0

    While this recipe sounds like a tasty treat I have to wonder about DianaDB. Did her Nana teach her to speak this way? Maybe the old lady wasn't such a great influence on the author.

    Nov 15, 2011 at 12:41 PM

  • Hello Ellen430. You do intend to try it? And hey, you got all the esoteric references, too. Well isn't that dear! Just be sure not to let the little cartoon MFers leave you running urgently to the bathroom.

    Nov 15, 2011 at 5:56 PM

  • Sounds delicious! Question. Do you use a rice cooker?

    (By the way, the "Question" part was Dwight. You know, that little MFer from The Office. By I really do want to know if you use a rice cooker!)

    Keep up the lighthearted fun! I always enjoy your recipes, and I am one who drops a "MFer" of two in the kitchen. Or well also in the office, come to think of it...

    Nov 15, 2011 at 7:06 PM

  • Thank you, Ellen and Dr Malcolm. This truly is a delicious and different salad, so I certainly hope you give it a try.

    Dr. M, I don't use a rice cooker, but only because I don't happen to own one. I am sure it would probably work for this, but you may want to do a quick Google search to make sure. Thanks again for the kind words.

    Nov 15, 2011 at 7:29 PM

  • Snooth User: karat
    541180 345

    YUM!! And extra credit for use of the word "innards", one of my favorite southern terms...

    Nov 15, 2011 at 9:17 PM

  • Thanks, Karat! Innards is definitely an excellent word. My favorite, however, is pantaloons.

    Nov 16, 2011 at 12:48 PM

  • Snooth User: salemred
    442909 1

    A few sentences into reading this article from my gmail I wondered to myself, "Is this that funny DawnDB chic?" Sure sounds like her. Well, it was. You had me laughing out loud with both the bar nut recipe and the buffalo chx meatballs. You have a very distinctive writing style and I love it. You remind me of my sister; she's a career fine dining waiter/manager/wine expert and after 30 years in the food biz she now has fantasies of writing a restaurant reality book entitled "What The F**k Do You Want Now?!"
    Anyway, keep up the good work Dawn, luv ya!

    Nov 18, 2011 at 9:24 AM

  • What a nice compliment, Salem! Thank you so much for saying that, it really means a lot to me. Also, that book title is freaking awesome and could apply in so many ways. Like "Chicken Soup for the Soul". She could have, "What the F**k Do You Want Now", Restaurant Edition. And then "What the F**k Do You Want Now", Parenting Edition, etc, etc. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, darlin'!

    Nov 18, 2011 at 4:38 PM

  • Snooth User: newtonsue
    612210 15

    I don't get all the lingo but I made the salad and wasn't that impressed, mainly the dressing wasn't enough for the salad! It got a bit chewy and dry...

    Dec 13, 2011 at 9:41 AM

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