Salads! We love them because they make us feel virtuous (and because they contain vitamins and nutrients that are important to our survival), but we hate them because they are a particularly unstable lunch – especially if you’re trying to get a virtue two-fer by saving money and bringing yours from home.

Fortunately, we’ve got people like Sammy & Bella of Sammy & Bella’s Kitchen Rescue, who are on a mission to save us all from our soggy salads and lacklustre culinary lives.

Case in point: the salad you bring for lunch that looks crisp and delicious at 9am, but is approaching chlorophyll-flavoured mush by the time your break rolls around. Sammy & Bella’s quick fix?

Everyone’s favourite staple: rice:

Specifically, black rice. This humble grain is actually pretty damn fancy: it looks gorgeous, with that beaut dark purple colour, it’s chewy and nutty and works perfectly as a flavour carrier in your salad, and best of all, it soaks up all the extra dressing and juices (looking at you, tomatoes) that appear in your salad at around 1pm and works as a magical de-sogger.

It’s also basically a superfood, what with all its protein, fibre, thiamin and niacin.

We’ve got a ripper recipe making use of all black rice’s good shit. Hot tip: it says it serves four, but you know that just means four days in a row of delicious, un-soggy salad lunches. Feeling virtuous already? You bet you are.

BLACK RICE SALAD, MEXICAN STYLE

Serves: 4

Difficulty: easy

Time to cook: 30 minutes

INGREDIENTS:

For the rice:

  • 220g (1 cup) Sunrice Black Rice
  • 500ml (2 cups) water
  • Pinch of Maldon Sea Salt

For the salad:

  • 2 corns on the cobb, charred on BBQ and kernels cut off
  • 1 green capsicum, seeds removed and finely diced
  • 1 red onion, finely diced
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 bunch coriander, leaves picked for garnish, stems and roots reserved for dressing

For the dressing:

  • Reserved coriander roots and stems, chopped finely
  • ½ tsp Hoyts ground cumin
  • 60ml lime juice
  • 60ml Olive oil
  • Large pinch of Maldon Sea Salt
  • Hoyts freshly cracked pepper to taste

METHOD:

  1. In a saucepan, add rice and water, bring to a boil. Then reduce to a simmer and cook with lid on for 25 minutes or until moisture is absorbed. Remove from the heat and allow to rest with lid on for 5-10 minutes.
  2. In a large mixing bowl whisk together dressing ingredients.
  3. Add in prepared charred corn, green capsicum, red onion, tomatoes and rested but slightly warm black rice to mixing bowl.
  4. Using your hands toss salad together making sure dressing is evenly coating all ingredients.
  5. Serve onto serving platter and pour over any remaining dressing, garnish with coriander leaves and cling wrap for transport. Enjoy warm or cold as a side or as a great addition to tacos or burritos.

Sammy & Bella’s Kitchen Rescue airs 1pm Saturdays on Ten, and you can catch up with the first episode here on Tenplay.