Black Rice and Spring Vegetable Pilaf

About six weeks ago, I stumbled upon a new-to-me food blog called Love and Lemons. I fell in love with the clean and pretty design, as well as the stunning photography, on the spot. Shortly after, I corresponded with Jeanine by email and asked her if she’d like to guest post here at Healthy Green Kitchen. I was so happy she said “yes”!

Jeanine is a freelance graphic designer turned food writer and photographer (along with her husband Jack… credit goes to him for many of the photos on their blog). In their spare time, Jeanine and Jack are passionate about traveling to all ends of the world in search of great meals. They started Love and Lemons as a way to tell the stories of their life together through the food that they eat…I am pretty sure they’re soon going to have legions of fans hungry for all they have to share.

So without further ado, I’m now turning you over to Jeanine!

I’m so excited to be guest posting on Winnie’s blog. I’ve been a fan for a long time and while I read a good many food sites, I actually cook from this one all the time. I’m always fascinated by the interesting food and flavor combinations she puts together.

Cute little story… a little over a year ago my husband was searching all corners of the web to come up with a recipe to cook for me for valentines day (it’s the one single day a year he cooks). This is a guy who in a million years could never pick out an outfit or a piece of jewelry for me, and but he somehow typed in keywords of all of my favorite foods and landed on a recipe from Healthy Green Kitchen. I guess food really is love… and not clothes.

Today, I’m sharing a vibrant spring recipe.

black rice and spring vegetables

I love foods when they’re bright in flavor and in color. This starts with a spiced wild rice pilaf and is mixed with fresh asparagus, broccolini and edamame, but feel free to use the vegetables you love most. I’ve been using black wild rice more and more lately (which is actually a grass and not a rice). It makes for a gorgeous presentation, and has the added benefit of being higher in protein than other rices.

The warm nutty rice gets flavored with garlic, cardamom, cinnamon and cumin. In the end the pilaf is topped with a bright pop of mint, lemon, and a cooling yogurt sauce.

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black rice and spring vegetables
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Black Rice and Spring Vegetable Pilaf


  • *1/2 cup uncooked black wild rice
  • *3/4 cup edamame
  • *1/2 bunch thin asparagus tender parts chopped into 1 inch pieces (approx. 1.5 cups)
  • *1/2 bunch broccolini sliced into 1 inch pieces (approx. 1.5 cups)
  • *2 radishes sliced thin
  • *2 shallots thinly sliced (or a small onion)
  • *1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
  • *1/4 teaspoon cardamom powder or seeds from 3 or 4 pods
  • *1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • *1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • *2 tablespoons butter
  • *2 tablespoons chives chopped
  • *2 tablespoons mint chopped
  • *squeeze of lemon juice
  • *olive oil

yogurt sauce:

  • *1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • *1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • *1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • *1 teaspoon agave syrup or honey
  • *drizzle of olive oil
  • *pinch of salt
  • *1 or 2 tablespoons of water


  • 1. Soak black wild rice for 30 minutes or up to a day. Cook rice in 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons of water in a rice cooker (I hit the "brown rice" setting on mine) or in a saucepan for approx. 60 minutes.
  • 2. In a small saucepan, heat butter and add sliced shallots. Cook, stirring occasionally until translucent. Add garlic, cardamom, cinnamon, and cumin and cook for 30 more seconds until fragrant. Remove from heat and stir into cooked rice while the rice is still hot so the flavors marry. Set aside.
  • 3. Mix yogurt sauce by whisking together yogurt, lemon zest, lemon juice, agave or honey, olive oil and salt. As needed, stir in a tablespoon of water to thin it out.
  • 4. In a medium saucepan, heat a bit of olive oil and add asparagus, broccolini, edamame (you can add it frozen or thawed), and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally for 3-4 minutes until the vegetables are tender, but still vibrant green.
  • 5. Plate rice and vegetables. Top with yogurt sauce, chives, mint, a squeeze of lemon juice, and serve.

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20 thoughts on “Black Rice and Spring Vegetable Pilaf”

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  2. Black rice is a deep black color and usually turns deep purple when cooked. Its dark purple color is primarily due to its anthocyanin content, which is higher by weight than that of other colored grains but more limited in the number of different anthocyanin species present.*

    Have a look at the most recent piece of writing at our very own website

  3. Pingback: 101 Vegetarian and Vegan St Patrick's Day Recipes
  4. Hi, I’m Sonia, italian food blogger (and your ‘fan’) sorry for my bad english, I want tell you that I have included the link of this recipe (which I liked very much) in the section on my blog dedicated to “10 ways to make” (“10 Modi di Fare”) pilaf.
    The post is ‘Riso pilaf’ I hope not to bother you, have a nice day.

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  6. Pingback: Spring Veggie Gallette Recipe – Welcome Spring! | Apron Strings
  7. I was recently introduced to black rice and now love it! I love how simple yet delicious & healthy are your recipes! This dish is perfect for my new vegetarian diet! I’m bookmarking it! Looking forward to seeing you in July! :)

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  9. Pingback: Black rice and spring vegetable pilaf | Love and Lemons
  10. MMM, we love wild rice. This looks like a lovely side dish or almost a meal by itself. Can’t wait to eat some spring veggies.

  11. I love finding “new to me” blogs too. I can’t wait to check out Love and Lemons. This rice dish sounds right up my alley, for so many reasons. I absolutely love the combination of cinnamon/cardamom/cumin and the added vegetables are perfect!

  12. This looks so lovely! Definitely full of fresh spring flavor. This is such a great dish to incorporate veggies I don’t usually eat- like radishes and asparagus. But looks delicious!