This vegan, gluten free salad, made with black forbidden rice, hokkaido pumpkin, red onions, parsley, Romaine lettuce, pine nuts and pomegranate seeds, has a unique mellow-sweet taste. The rich nutty, earthy flavour of black rice pairs really well with the bright acidity of white balsamic vinaigrette. If you can’t find forbidden rice, use wild rice instead.
- Cook the rice in a saucepan of boiling salted water for 30 minutes or until just tender. Drain. Refresh under cold running water.
- Meanwhile, preheat oven to 200C/180C fan forced. Line a large baking tray with baking paper. Place pumpkin wedges on the prepared tray. Add onion wedges to trays.
- Combine 2 tbsp of olive oil, 1/2 tbsp of white balsamic vinegar and 2 tsp of maple syrup in a small bowl. Drizzle over pumpkin and onion. Season with salt and pepper. Roast for 40 minutes or until caramelised.
- Place lemon juice, Dijon and remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar and the remaining 1 teaspoon of maple syrup in a bowl. Season. Whisk to combine.
- Combine rice, romaine lettuce, parsley, onion, half the pomegranate and pine nuts in a large bowl. Drizzle with half the dressing. Toss to combine. Arrange half the pumpkin on a platter. Top with half the rice mixture. Drizzle with half the remaining dressing. Repeat with remaining pumpkin, rice mixture and dressing. Sprinkle with remaining pomegranate and pine nuts.