Forbidden Rice with Pomegranates, Persimmons and Pistachios

Written by Eydie Desser

If you love cookbooks like I do, but think you can’t use them anymore because they aren’t plant based or have too much oil, salt or sugar in the recipe, think again.  I get a ton of inspiration from talented chefs, and just tweak the recipe by substituting the meat, chicken or fish with vegetables and substitute the oily and fat laden sauces and dressings with creamy fruit, nut butters, or vegetables.

I did just that with this gorgeous black rice recipe.  It is a stunner and will delight your guests.  It’s perfect for a buffet dinner in the fall and winter, so you might want to make a double batch!


For the Rice:

  • 1 cup uncooked black rice (I used Lotus Foods Forbidden Rice)
  • Seeds from 1 large pomegranate
  • 2 Fuyu persimmons, diced to the size of the pomegranate seeds
  • ⅓ cup raw pistachios, roughly chopped
  • 1 bunch chives, finely chopped
  • Zest and juice from 1 small lemon, or more to taste

For the Dressing:


Cook the Rice:

1- Rinse the rice in a nut bag or strainer over a bowl until the water is clear.

2- Place the rice in a 3-qt saucepan with 1-3/4 cups of water.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cover.  Let cook, covered for about 20 minutes.  Check to see if the rice is tender and the water has been absorbed.  If not, cover again and let simmer for another few minutes.  Place cooked rice in a serving bowl.

3- Add the pomegranate seeds, persimmons, pistachios and chives.  Stir to combine.  Add the lemon zest and lemon juice and stir once again.

Make the Dressing:

1- Poach ½ peeled and seeded pear by placing it in a small pot and covering it with water.  Bring water to a simmer and let the pear cook for about 10 minutes, or until soft when pricked with a knife.  Remove from the water.  

2- In a small food processor, place the pear, Pomegranate molasses and walnut vinegar and process until very smooth.

To Serve:

 1- Pour the dressing over the rice mixture and stir to combine, adding more walnut vinegar if desired.

2- Let the rice rest for at least 15 minutes to meld the flavors before serving.

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