Black Rice with Corn and Cranberries

Black Rice with Corn and Cranberries

This delectable dish of black or wild rice, corn, and cranberries is a festive eyeful, but it’s too good to save for only special occasions, and too simple not to make for everyday meals. It makes a gorgeous holiday side dish, or, stuffed into small squashes, a great vegan main dish. Recipe from Vegan Holiday Kitchen; photo by Susan Voisin, FatFree Vegan Kitchen.

Serves: 8 as a side dish

  • 1 cup forbidden black rice (see note) or wild rice
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 to 4 scallions, green and white parts, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups thawed frozen corn kernels
  • 1/4 cup lemon or lime juice, or to taste
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped cilantro leaves, to taste
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds for topping

If using forbidden rice, combine in a saucepan with 2 cups water. Bring to a rapid simmer, then lower the heat, cover, and simmer gently until the water is absorbed, about 30 minutes. If you’d like a more tender grain, add 1/2 cup additional water and cook until absorbed. If using wild rice, combine with 3 cups of water and cook as directed above.

black-rice2Just before the rice is done, heat half of the oil in a large skillet. Add the garlic and sauté over low heat until golden. Add the scallions and corn kernels and sauté just until warmed through.

Transfer the cooked rice to the skillet. Turn the heat up to medium high, then add the  lime juice, cilantro, cumin, oregano, thyme cranberries, and remaining oil. Stir together gently, then season to taste with salt and pepper.

To serve, transfer to an attractive serving platter and sprinkle the pumpkin seeds over the top.

Note: Look for black rice in the specialty grains section of natural foods stores and well-stocked supermarket, sometimes labeled as forbidden rice.

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10 comments on “Black Rice with Corn and Cranberries

  1. Nava Post author

    Donna, you would pre-bake the squash until done but still firm. When cool enough to handle, cut in half, then scoop out and discard the seeds and fibers. Hollow out the squash halves, leaving a firm shell of about 1/2 inch all around. You can finely chop the squash flesh you’ve taken out and mix it in with the rice dish. Stuff the squash cavities with the rice mixture, then heat in the oven at 350 to 375 for about 10-15 minutes just before serving, or just until nice and hot.

  2. Erin

    Can this be made ahead of time? If so, would it be better to heat it on the stovetop before serving or in the oven?

  3. Nava Post author

    Erin, I’d say you could make this as much as 3 days ahead of time. I wouldn’t recommend freezing it. Add the scallions and cranberries when reheating. I’d say either the stovetop or in the oven would work. Just make sure to put in a covered container if putting in the oven, so it won’t dry out. Enjoy!

  4. Sharon

    I just came onto the site to print out the recipe for someone who requested it from me. We served this as a side dish for Christmas Eve, and everyone liked it. Thanks for this & all your wonderful vegan dishes.

  5. Nava Post author

    Yes, it does, kind of like a rice salad. Just before serving, you might want to add a splash of vinaigrette to make it extra moist and tasty.

  6. Eleanor

    I make this with brown rice. Because I am not crazy about pumpkin seeds, I use toasted slivered almonds, but otherwise follow the recipe as given. Great vegan recipe. It makes too much for one meal for us, but it keeps just fine in the fridge and can be eaten cold later or reheated without any loss of flavour or texture.

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