Monthly Archives: August 2012

Black Bean and Rice Salad

This is a recipe I have to share. I love black beans in salads and black beans and rice in particular. I make this salad just about every time we have Tex-Mex or Mexican. This recipe makes enough for leftovers. I wrap it up in a tortilla with a bit of shredded cheese. Yummy! And even though I don’t know all of the nutrition facts, a quick scan of the ingredients tells me it isn’t bad for you. All of the food groups are represented! Leave out the bacon and you take out the one thing that is less than healthy. But why would you take out the bacon?!  : )

Salad Ingredients:
2 cups water or chicken broth or stock
1 cup raw, long grain rice or brown rice
1 (14 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
3 green onions, thinly sliced (greens too! Save some greens for garnish)
1/3 cup pimento-stuffed sliced olives
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
4 slices crisp-cooked bacon, crumbled

Bring liquid to a boil over high heat in a 2 quart pot. Add the rice and cover. Reduce the heat to low; cook about 20 minutes or until tender and dry. I use a pot with a glass lid to keep a better eye on the rice.  I overcooked a pot of rice once; not a pleasant aroma or easy clean up!  When the rice is cooked, spread it in a shallow pan to cool to room temperature.  While the rice is cooling, prepare the dressing.                                                                  

Mustard Dressing:  

2/3 cups oil (half olive, half safflower)

1/3 cup red wine vinegar

2 garlic cloves 

2 tsps Dijon Mustard  

1 tsp sugar

1/2 tsp salt

Using a blender or food processor (fitted with steel blade), blend the dressing ingredients.  The goal is to not just combine the ingredients, but to emulsify the oil and vinegar.  Otherwise, you end up with oil that solidifies in the fridge (yuck!) and not a delicious looking salad!  Now, take all ingredients, salad and dressing, and mix well.  I use a clear glass bowl to show off the variety of colors present in this salad.  Makes for a nice presentation on your table!

A few recommendations:  I don’t like green olives, so I use sliced black olives.  Whatever rice you have will work just fine.  The last time I was in Charleston, S.C., I picked up a bag of Charleston Gold Aromatic Rice from Lavington Farms.  Uncooked, it smells like popcorn.  It was very good in this salad!  I don’t suggest using just olive oil.  It is a bit strong for this salad.  It really needs to be balanced with a lighter oil.  I have never tried a different vinegar-I like red wine vinegar and I like red wine!  And finally, I never add salt to anything except baked goods and occasionally meat rubs. 

Until next time, Grill, Baby, Grill!

This recipe is out of “The Everyday Fiesta Cookbook”, written by Susan Slack and published in 1993.