Recipe: Salted Watermelon Salad with Forbidden Rice

Recipe by Liz Crawshaw

Demonstrated at the Decatur Farmers Market on August 5th, 2017. 

Black rice, also called forbidden rice, has a long history. It was first grown in ancient China as a tribute to the emperor. It gained its striking dark color through careful crossbreeding of different strains of rice.  The rice’s black color is caused by the chemical anthocyanin, an antioxidant with powerful health benefits. The rice is nutritionally superior to other grains in both its protein and iron content.  It absorbs the dressing and watermelon juice nicely, while the salt adds a depth and complexity of flavor, the jalapeno adds a hint of heat, and the mint provides a balancing freshness. 



  • Large Watermelon from Mealor Family Gardens @ $10, balled into 4 cups
  • 1 Jalapeno from Mealor Family Gardens @ 3 for $1, finely chopped (remove the seeds if you like it less spicy!)
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked forbidden rice, also known as black rice
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint, torn into pieces
  • 2 TBSP freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 TBSP toasted sesame oil
  • Sesame seeds to garnish (if desired)
  • 1 Tsp infused Salt -I used a combination of Beautiful Briny Sea’s French Picnic & Friends Forever salts (you can also just use regular salt!)



  1. Bring 1 cup of well-rinsed rice and 1 1/2 cups of water to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 25 minutes. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork.
  2. While the rice is cooking, prepare the watermelon and dressing. Using a melon baller or rounded measuring spoon, scoop the watermelon. Remove as many seeds as you can and place the melon balls in a large mixing bowl.  Add infused salt of choice and gently toss to coat. Set aside.
  3. Prep the jalapeno and mint. Remove the seeds from the jalapeno and finely dice. Tear the mint into small pieces.
  4. Make the dressing by whisking together the lime juice and sesame oil in a small bowl to form an emulsion.
  5. In a serving bowl or tray, gently toss together the salted watermelon, black rice, jalapeno, and mint as you slowly drizzle in the sesame-lime dressing.
  6.  Garnish with sesame seeds, and enjoy on a hot day!


Our At-Market Educational chef demos made possible by Les Dames d’Escoffier International – Atlanta Chapter and Piedmont Healthcare.









Community Farmers Markets