Forbidden Rice

I’m not going to lie to you – the reason I made this is because the end result is so-freakin-beautiful. Don’t you think?

The fact that Nick happens to LOVE bacon was just an added bonus. I think he and I can both agree that this dish was a winner. How do I know? We made more than enough for left-overs but we ate it all that night. I should probably point out that mine was made with vegan Smart Bacon, and his was made with lean bacon, exactly what the recipe called for.

So this is my take on Food and Wine’s Forbidden Rice Recipe. Of course, I had to make a few changes in order to make it vegetarian for me, but the end result was divine. Enjoy.

Forbidden Rice

1 head of garlic (about 12 cloves), cloves peeled
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more for drizzling
2 cups black rice (most markets carry Forbidden Rice in the bulk section)
2 cups water
6 strips of Smart Bacon, cooked and coarsely chopped
1 medium onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1/4 cup soy sauce or tamari
Salt and freshly ground white pepper
4 scallions, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup edamame, thawed and shelled

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Put the garlic cloves on a double sheet of foil and drizzle with vegetable oil. Seal the foil around the garlic and bake for about 1 hour, until the garlic is soft and caramelized. Let cool, then refrigerate overnight.
  2. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, cover the black rice with the water and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat for about 20 minutes, until the water is absorbed and the rice is just tender. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes. Spread the rice on a large rimmed baking sheet and let cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  3. In a large, deep skillet, cook the bacon over moderate heat until crisp, about 6 minutes.
  4. Add the 2 tablespoons of oil to the skillet after removing the bacon. Add the onion and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 6 minutes. Stir in the bacon, black rice and roasted garlic and stir-fry over moderately high heat until warmed through, about 3 minutes. Stir in the soy sauce and season with salt and white pepper. Transfer to bowls, garnish with the scallions and serve right away.
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