I’m not quite ready for summer and it’s been in the 90°s already. So, I’m trying to hold onto the cool mornings and warm, breezy afternoons because I know triple digit weather is coming. For me, the heat brings with it a lethargy when it comes to cooking. I rarely want to turn on the oven (even with the promise of slow roasted tomatoes in my future). Instead, summer is about light, fresh foods with refreshing beverages.
These gluten free black rice lettuce wraps are the latest installment of my Saturday Night Supper series of food and beverage pairings. The recipe is quick, easy, and totally customizable. Plus, the black rice lettuce wraps adapt easily to what you’ve got on hand, and how you want to serve them!
I typically serve this recipe as small lettuce wraps, assembling them ahead of time. However, you could easily serve the lettuce leaves as an accompaniment to a bowl of the black rice mixture. Or, serve all the ingredients separately, allowing diners to mix and match what they like (a la taco bar). Ultimately, the key is to dress the rice with the miso ginger dressing, which brings everything together. If you’re looking for a main entree, serve the rice on a bed of fresh, crisp lettuce.
However you serve these black rice lettuce wraps, I definitely recommend pairing them with a fantastic summer sipper like this 2016 Rosé from Bailarín Cellars. It’s a single vineyard rosé of Pinot Noir grapes, grown in the Russian River Valley. It has a gorgeous deep orange raspberry color with a light and gentle effervescence. This rosé is full of strawberry and raspberry on the nose with notes of vanilla and cherry on the palate. Hints of toasted almond emerge when paired with these black rice lettuce wraps. It’s seriously so good!
Bailarín Cellars was created in 2014 by a collective of family and friends following their common passion: quality wine. These boutique wines from the Russian River Valley in Sonoma County are handcrafted with limited production. Only two barrels of the 2016 rosé wine were produced! Check out their wine club for exclusive benefits, including small lots crafted just for members. Plus, their tasting room is conveniently located within the Pavilions shopping center in Sacramento. Swing by to try their Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Zinfandel!
Black Rice Lettuce Wraps
- 1 cup black rice
- 1 3/4 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup cashews
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 6 ounces protein (see note)
- 4 cups mixed seasonal vegetables (see note)
- 1 cup edamame
- 1/2 cup miso ginger dressing (see note)
- 4 heads baby gem lettuce (separated, rinsed and dried)
- Sambal oelek chili sauce, for topping
- Caramelized onions, for topping (optional, see note)
Over medium heat, combine black rice, water and salt in a small pot. Bring to a boil uncovered. When water begins boiling, reduce to a simmer and cover. Let simmer about 30 to 40 minutes until water is completely absorbed and rice is tender. Remove from heat, let rest 10 minutes and then fluff with fork.
Toast the cashews while the rice is cooking. Heat a pan over medium heat. Toss in cashews, and stir constantly so they do not burn. Remove from heat after 2 to 3 minutes, when cashews are fragrant and lightly browned. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside for serving.
While rice is cooking, prepare the protein and seasonal vegetables. Heat coconut oil in a medium pan. Pan fry protein of your choice until fully cooked. Then add mixed seasonal vegetables and edamame to the pan. Saute over medium heat until vegetables are lightly cooked but still a bit crunchy.
When rice is cooked and fluffed, combine with miso ginger dressing and mix well. If desired, combine dressed rice with vegetables and protein.
Serve with lettuce leaves, toasted cashews, sambal oelek chili sauce, and optional caramelized onions.
I highly recommend adding caramelized onions to this black rice lettuce wrap! In fact, you could make a big batch of them ahead of time, or make them as you’re preparing the black rice lettuce wraps. Try this caramelized onion recipe from Simply Recipes. Also, feel free to play with your chili sauce or leave it out entirely. Sambal oelek has a more vinegary tart flavor while sriracha has a great complementary sweetness.
There are quite a few protein options for this black rice lettuce wrap. I used Quorn chik’n tenders in this dish but you could use marinated baked tofu, plain tofu, or soy crumbles. A quick pan fry in coconut oil with a splat of tamari is all you need!
Use tamari sauce and gluten free miso paste in the miso ginger dressing to keep these black rice lettuce wraps gluten free.
Diced or ground chicken would be a nice addition to this black rice lettuce wrap. You could also add ground pork, simply marinated with salt, pepper and a bit of tamari and garlic. Just be sure to cook your proteins first! Then mix them in with the vegetables and the black rice lettuce wraps. This is also a great way to use up any leftover proteins you may have in the fridge.
Check the Fridge
For this black rice lettuce wrap recipe, I used a mixture of sliced snow peas, diced asparagus, and grated purple daikon radish. Other spring options include English peas, cooked fava beans and grated carrots. Fresh or frozen corn, bell pepper, avocado and cauliflower are other great ideas, too!
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