Black rice pulls me in. The almost deep purple, Italian black rice I use in this recipe makes me feel nourished and happy – simmered, firm to the bite, doused in a punchy citrus dressing with lots of herbs and seasonal bits and bobs. It is so very adaptable. So, here is a recipe using some of my favourite Mediterranean ingredients: squid and oranges (from Valencia of course) lots of mint and a little chorizo. It’s a good recipe to have in your repertoire. Whether you want to indulge for a weeknight dinner or prepare dinner for friends, you won’t go far wrong if you choose this dish.
320g Italian black rice
250g cherry tomatoes sliced through the middle and slow roasted; or good quality Sun-dried tomatoes in oil work well in the cooler months.
1 small red onion, very finely sliced
4 small oranges, segmented
Grated zest and juice of another 2 unwaxed lemons
1 small clove garlic, crushed to a paste with salt
A few fresh mint leaves and a little picked dill
Olive oil 60ml/ ¼ cup
250g excellent quality chorizo sliced into coins.
1k cleaned squid, cut into 1-2inch pieces and scored with diagonal lines.
Griddled prawns and any fillet of firm white fish would also work well with the rice.
Seasoning to taste
First make the black rice salad:
Bring a pan of water to the boil and cook the rice until just tender.
Drain well and transfer to a bowl to cool slightly (5 minutes).Add tomatoes, finely sliced red onion, orange segments with their residual juice, lemon zest and juice (to taste), pasted garlic and 2 tbsp/30ml olive oil. Season with salt to taste.
Add herbs and gently mix through with your hands; lifting from the bottom of the bowl and gently turning the ingredients over once or twice.
Meanwhile, heat a frying pan over medium-high heat and fry chorizo, turning once until starting to crisp (2-4 minutes). Add to black rice mixture.
Wipe the pan clean with kitchen paper, pop back on the heat. When hot add the remaining 30ml/2Tbsp olive and fry the squid in batches (without overcrowding pan) until just cooked (3+ minutes). The squid will become opaque when cooked and curl up in the pan. You want to caramelise a little but do not overcook it.
Serve the black rice salad on a platter (or individual bowls/plates). Lay the squid on the top and serve.
©Marcia Barrington March 2019