Thursday, April 3, 2008

Black Bean and Rice Salad

This is a salad I discovered shortly after I graduated from college. It has since become a true staple of our diet. The kids aren't into it yet, but my husband requests it often. It keeps for several days, and we eat it in pitas with hummus (black bean hummus is especially nice, but I don't have time to make it these days). Yummmm.... I'll make up a batch over the weekend, and we'll eat off of it for lunch for several days. A nice, healthy lunch alternative. Give it a try! You can freeze cooked rice (and beans and fresh peppers), so if your freezer is stocked, you can whip up the salad at a moment's notice. Serve with a slotted spoon because there is lots of dressing.

If you choose not to serve it with something like hummus, you may want to tweak the seasonings in the salad because it's a touch bland. We often add extra cumin for instance. We also use brown rice, and it works quite well.

Original recipe is from Bon Appetit magazine.

1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon minced garlic

Whisk oil, vinegar, mustard, cumin and garlic in medium bowl until well blended. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.

2 1/2 cups cooked long-grain white rice (about 1 cup raw), cooled
1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed, drained
3/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
3/4 cup chopped yellow bell pepper
3/4 cup chopped green onions

Combine rice, beans, peppers and onions in large bowl. Toss salad with enough dressing to moisten. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 6 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)
Line large serving bowl with lettuce leaves, if desired. Spoon salad into bowl and serve.

Makes 6 servings.

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