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Roasted Tomato Black Rice Salad with Pesto

Pegan diet, Gluten free, Roasted Tomato Black Rice Salad. Fresh greens, vegetables, seeds, goat cheese and a nutty aromatic superfood and ancient grain, 'Forbidden' Black Rice, in a delicious nutritious salad
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Salad
Servings: 1 person
Author: Sujata Shukla


  • 1/4 cup black rice
  • 3/4 cup water for pressure cooking
  • 1/4 cup pesto without any cheese Links in Post above for my recipes for Basil Pesto and Parsley Pesto
  • 200 gms Cherry tomatoes Mixed Red, Yellow, Orange colours
  • 1/2 Roasted Red Pepper Links in post above for instructions for roasting and peeling
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds
  • 2 cups lettuce Varieties with red or purple and green leaves
  • 1/2 orange
  • 1/4 cup Pomegranate arils/ seeds
  • 50 gms goat cheese
  • 10 Rocket/ Arugula leaves
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste


To Cook the Black Rice

  • Cook the rice as per packet instructions. Some varieties need to be soaked overnight, some for as little as half an hour. The variety I used (FOR8 Aromatic Black Rice) did not specify soaking at all. 1/4 cup of black rice will usually translate to 1/2 cup of cooked rice If soaking is not required, rinse the rise in clear water 2-3 times. If soaked, drain the rice after the required soaking time. Place the rice (after draining or rinsing as applicable) in the pressure cooker with 3 times its volume of water
  • Pressure cook as per package instructions. Different varieties have different cooking times. I pressure cooked mine on high till 1 whistle, and then reduced the heat to low, for 10 minutes. As I was cooking a very small quantity, it took just 4 minutes to reach the first whistle. Remove the cooker from the heat after switching off, and let it release pressure on its own. Once you are able to open the cooker, and while the rice is still warm, transfer the rice to a colander, rinse in cold water, and allow it to drain completely while you make the rest of the salad.

To Roast the vegetables

  • Preheat the oven to 200C. Prepare 2 baking sheets/ trays by lightly greasing them with a few drops of olive oil. Pumpkin seeds: In a small bowl, place the pumpkin seeds. Add 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Let the seeds be completely covered and then spread the seeds on one baking sheet. Tomatoes: Mix 1/2 a teaspoon of olive oil and a pinch of salt, and rub all over the tomatoes. Spread them on the second baking sheet, with a little space between each tomato. Red pepper: Rub all over with a few drops of olive oil and place on the tray with tomatoes. Set the two trays in the oven. After about 8 minutes, remove the seeds and immediately transfer to a heat proof bowl, so that the seeds stop roasting. Take out the second tray, remove the tomatoes to a heat proof bowl, and place the tray with the red pepper back in the oven. The red pepper should be roasted for 35 minutes, turning it to the other side after 20 mins. After removing, place under an inverted bowl, and peel after 15 minutes. For clear instructions on roasting and peeling the red pepper, check the post above for my recipe for the same.


  • Prep time for this recipe does not include time for making pesto. Once the roasted pepper is peeled, slice half of it into thin pieces. The other half may be sliced and placed in oil for use in other recipes. If you have bottled roasted red peppers, take out about 1/4 cup for this salad. 2.If making pesto, put all the ingredients in the processor and blend them into a coarse pesto. As this salad is for a pegan diet, parmesan or other cheese is not to be added to the pesto. 3. Extract the pomegranate arils from half the fruit, into a bowl and remove any white skin/rind pieces 4.Peel the orange and de-seed as well as remove the thin white skin from about half of the orange segments. Slice each segment into 2.
  • 5. Wash and dry the lettuce and arugula in a salad spinner or with a kitchen towel. Shred the lettuce. 6. Squeeze juice from one lemon 7. Crumble the goat cheese

To Make Pegan Roasted Tomato Black Rice Salad with Pesto

  • In a salad bowl, place the shredded lettuce. Stir the pesto gently into the cooked black rice, roasted tomato, red pepper orange slices. Add salt to taste. Add the rice and vegetables to the bowl with lettuce.
  • Mix the arugula leaves into the salad Scatter sunflower seeds, pomegranate arils and then the crumbled goat cheese. Drizzle with a teaspoon of olive oil. Enjoy!


1. For my recipe for Parsley Pistachio Pesto, click here: Green Shakshuka with Kale and a Parsley Pesto
2. For my recipe for Basil Pesto, click here: Basil pesto
3. For my instructions on roasting red pepper, click here: Roasted Red Pepper Romesco Sauce