A bejewelled salad of black ‘Forbidden’ rice, fresh green apple, fennel, radish, little cubes of tofu, and unbelievably juicy blood oranges. Fresh and crunchy with toasted tamari pepitas, crispy brussel sprout leaves and baby sorrel, and tossed with a simple blood orange and olive oil dressing. I don’t know about you, but my tastebuds are tingling just thinking about diving in fork-first!
½ large fennel, sliced thinly
Small bunch of radish, sliced thinly
½ green apple, cut into matchsticks
1 blood orange, segmented and extra juice reserved
¼ cup pepitas
½ tbsp tamari
Small handful of brussel sprouts, tough outer leaves only
Sorrel leaves, for garnish
½ cup fried tofu, cut into small dice
Extra virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
½ cup Forbidden Rice (black rice) – from Asian grocery stores
Preheat oven to 200C
First up, get the black rice on the go. You can either soak it overnight to enhance digestion, or simply wash it thoroughly, drain, and repeat 2-3 times. Place the rice in a saucepan of water with 1 cup of water. Cover with a lid and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to simmer. If you have soaked your rice, it will take around 20 minutes to cook, if not it can take up to 40-50 minutes. When done, drain the excess water. The rice should be tender, yet still have a little bite to it.
For the crispy brussel sprouts, sprinkle the leaves with a little salt, pepper and olive oil. Gently toss the leaves, making sure that all the surfaces are glossy with a little oil. Spread the leaves in a single layer on a baking tray and pop into the oven for 10 minutes, until the leaves are crispy and dry.
For the tamari pepitas, combine the pepitas and tamari in a bowl with a little sea salt. Toss and spread out onto a baking tray. Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes, until lightly roasted and sticky.
Set aside both the pepitas and brussel sprout leaves until ready to serve.
In a large bowl, combine the fennel, radish, apple, tofu, and blood orange segments. Drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil and pour over the reserved blood orange juice. Toss gently. Pile on to a big serving plate and scatter over the sorrel leaves, brussel sprout leaves, and pepitas. Finish with a final drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, some sea salt and a few turns of the black pepper grinder.