Black Rice Salad with Cherries and Plums


  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup uncooked black rice (unrinsed)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1 ½ cups chopped baguette, sourdough, or country white bread (about 2 ounces)
  • 1 ounce Gorgonzola dolce cheese (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • ⅓ cup chopped black walnuts
  • 3 ½ tablespoons Champagne vinegar
  • 1 ½ tablespoons honey
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1 cup halved fresh Bing cherries (from 6 ounces whole pitted cherries)
  • 1 cup 1/4-inch-thick plum wedges (from 2 [6-ounce] unpeeled plums)


  1. Bring 2 cups water, rice, and 1/4 teaspoon salt to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer, undisturbed, until water is absorbed, about 35 minutes. Remove from heat. Let stand, covered, 10 minutes. Uncover and fluff rice with a fork. Spread rice in an even layer on a baking sheet. Let cool completely, about 30 minutes.

  2. 2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. Place bread in a food processor; pulse until pea-size breadcrumbs form, about 12 pulses. Using a rubber spatula, mash together Gorgonzola dolce and 2 tablespoons oil in a medium bowl until smooth. Add breadcrumbs; toss to coat. Stir in walnuts. Spread mixture evenly on prepared baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven until nuts are toasted and bread is golden brown, about 12 minutes, stirring once after 8 minutes. Remove from oven. Let cool completely, about 15 minutes. (Breadcrumbs will become more crisp as they cool.)

  3. Whisk together vinegar, honey, pepper, remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt, and remaining 3 tablespoons oil in a large bowl; transfer 1/4 cup vinegar mixture to a medium bowl. Add rice and onion to vinegar mixture in large bowl; toss to coat. Add cherries and plum wedges to vinegar mixture in medium bowl; toss to coat. Arrange rice mixture on a platter; top with cherry mixture. Sprinkle with 1/3 cup breadcrumb mixture, and serve.

Make Ahead

Prepared rice salad can be stored in an airtight container in refrigerator up to 1 day. Breadcrumbs can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 4 days.