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Forbidden black rice salad with cucumbers, herbs and canned tuna

In The Kitchen with Al makes forbidden rice.
Anthony Quintano / TODAY


  • 2 cups forbidden black rice
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 dried chili
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 3 1/4 cups water
  • Sea salt
  • 1 English cucumber
  • 4 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
  • Zest and segments of 1 lemon
  • 2 cups arugula
  • 1 shallot
  • 1 can tuna in olive oil
  • ½ cup goat cheese
  • ½ cup fresh mint, coarsely chopped
  • Leaves from 1 bunch oregano, coarsely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons Champagne vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste


  1. Combine the black rice with 3 ¼ cups well-salted water, bay leaf, thyme and dried chile in a large pot and bring to a boil. Once it comes to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until cooked through and tender, but still a little bit chewy,  about 35-40 minutes. Strain any excess liquid, discard the thyme, bay leaf and dried chile and set aside in the fridge to cool on a baking tray.
  2. Meanwhile, combine garlic, honey, lemon zest, mustard and vinegar in a medium sized mixing bowl and whisk together, then drizzle in the olive oil while whisking. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. With a sharp paring knife, carefully cut away the peel of the lemon and then remove the segments, taking care to remove the seeds. Cut each segment into small pieces and combine in a large mixing bowl with the cooked rice, arugula, canned tuna, toasted pine nuts and chopped herbs. Dress with vinaigrette and top with crumble goat cheese.