Black Japonica Rice and Cannellini Salad

Stepping outside yesterday morning was a balmy surprise. The giant icicles next to the door had shrunk to tiny teeth and the humid air almost smelled of spring 🙂
We have a bit longer to go before little greens will sprout in the garden, but why not preview warmer times with a grain salad? So, the nice combo of warm rice and cool veggies in today’s dish will add a spring-y splash to your winter diet.
Usually, I serve grain salads completely cold, but as a nod to winter the rice here is warm – fitting its dark wood colors and taste reminiscent of rain-drenched woods in spring.
I chose Black Japonica, a mix of black and mahogany brown rice that still has the outer bran layer (in contrast to white rice) for added nutrients and fiber – we’re right in the middle of cold and flu season after all.

Prep time was a toddler taste fest at our house: Ilian loooves beans. And carrots. And by the time dinner was ready, he was nearly filled with this very basic combination!
Your kid can help mixing the ingredients, and you can keep it oil-free until the dressing is added in the very end.

Oh, and two quick notes:
– Retain the aquafaba from the cannellini beans. Mine is often more egg-white-like than the aquafaba from chickpeas, and it’s a pleasure to work with. Look for more Sweet Sunday goodies next weekend 😉
– You can easily cut down on prep time by buying shredded carrots and sliced mushrooms. Cuts down on cleaning time, too!

Have a lovely back-to-school week!

Black Japonica Rice and Cannellini Salad

  • Servings: salad lunch for 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 1 cup black japonica rice
  • 2 15oz cans of cannellini beans
  • 6 medium carrots, shredded
  • 1/2 cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 cucumber, peeled and sliced into thin rounds
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 TBsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp paprika powder, smoked, Spanish, or regular
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • water


  1. Cook the rice according to package instructions, or: Place rice and 2 cups of water into pot, cover, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 40 minutes. Let sit for 10 minutes, fluff with a fork.
  2. In the meantime, shred carrots, slice mushrooms and cucumbers, and drain the cannellini beans (retain the aquafaba liquid for yummy sweet treats 🙂 ). Mix all dressing ingredients together in a small bowl.
  3. Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl. Pour dressing on top, toss to coat evenly. Serve on plates or in bowls, and enjoy the goodness!

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