Halloween is a time for all things orange and black, even food. While many people like to use excessive amounts of black food coloring, there are some ingredients that are naturally black. These very dark recipes make use of these naturally occurring black foods to make some pretty spectacular and festive dishes. From sweet to savory, these sable meals are sure to excite and delight the eaters.
Squid ink pasta may seem dark and dreary but when it's paired with bright red cherry tomatoes, zesty chorizo, and vibrant green basil leaves, it is anything but that. If you are weary of the flavor, the pasta has a mild salty taste that's not excessively fishy. Depending on the season, sometimes I will pair the pasta with calamari rings instead of the chorizo.
Black lentils with roasted carrots is a natural Halloween meal. Beluga lentils, or black lentils, are a small legume used extensively in French provencal cooking. These petite tender lentils are perfect for a soup, stew or salad. This recipe pairs them with golden brown roasted carrots and a pumpkin seed (pepitas) pesto.
This devil's food cake is made extra chocolaty because of the use of black cocoa. Black Dutch-processed or alkalized cocoa powder is a smoother, richer, and more intense chocolate flavor compared to natural cocoa powder. Alkalized cocoa powder has had the natural acidity and bitterness reduced by adding a neutralizing agent (usually potassium carbonate) to the roasted cocoa beans during the pressing - a process that separates the cocoa butter from the cocoa solids. Black
Malaysian black rice pudding is a gluten-free and dairy-free treat is ideal for anyone on a special diet. Black rice, also known as forbidden rice, is cooked with water and sugar until the mixture becomes thick and tender. A sweetened coconut sauce added to the rice and the leftover is drizzled over top when it's ready to serve.
Black salmon burgers may be dark but the flavors are light and bright. Homemade squid ink brioche buns make these burgers fun and festive. Squid ink is available in small packets at gourmet food stores and online. The salmon patties take on an Asian flair as they are flavored with cilantro, chili, and lemon juice. To keep with the Halloween theme, you could make a sweet potato burgers instead so that the bright orange patties would contrast with the black bun.