Mexican Style Rice Salad with Roasted Peppers and Black Beans

Rice is one of my absolute favorite things to make.  I always make extra so I can have it on hand all week for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  The beautiful thing about rice is that you can substitute any type of broth or liquid in place of the water to boost up the flavor and change the texture.  Try using half chicken broth and half light coconut milk instead of water then next time you are cooking rice, it adds a ton of flavor from the broth and a creamy smooth texture from the coconut milk.

This rice salad uses cumin and turmeric to flavor the water and give the rice a golden-yellow color.  A mixture of black beans, roasted red peppers, red bell pepper, and chipotle chilies is served surrounding a golden pile of rice.  This recipe is a delicious vegetarian main, or a beautiful side dish served alongside grilled meat or fish.

Start the dressing by stirring 3 teaspoons cumin in a small dry skillet over medium heat until just fragrant, about 1 minute.  Remove from heat.  Whisk in lime juice and oil into skillet.  Set aside.  This will be your dressing for the rice and black bean mixture before you assemble the salad.

Stir turmeric and remaining cumin in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat until fragrant, about 1 minute.  Add 2 cups of water, rice, and salt; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and cover; simmer until water is absorbed, about 15 minutes.  Cool rice.  Mix sliced green onions and half the set aside dressing into the rice.  Season with salt and pepper.

Combine black beans, all peppers, cilantro, chipotle chilies, and remaining dressing in medium bowl.  Toss to coat.  Season with salt and pepper.

Mound the rice in the centre of a serving dish.  Surround with the bean mixture.

Mexican Style Rice Salad with Roasted Red Peppers and Black Beans

(Adapted from Bon Appetit cookbook)

Ingredients:

4 teaspoons ground cumin
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil1/2 teaspoon turmeric
2 cups water
1 cup basmati rice
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions1 15- to 16-ounce can black beans, rinsed, drained
1/2 cup chopped roasted red peppers from jar
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 1/2 teaspoons minced chipotle chilies
 
Preparation:

Stir 3 teaspoons cumin in small dry skillet over medium heat just until fragrant, about 1 minute. Remove from heat. Whisk lime juice and oil into skillet.

Stir turmeric and remaining cumin in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add 2 cups water, rice and salt; bring to boil. Reduce heat to low and cover; simmer until water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Cool rice. Mix onions and half of dressing into rice. Season with salt and pepper.

Combine black beans, all peppers, cilantro, chipotle chilies, and remaining dressing in medium bowl. Toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper.

Mound bean mixture in center of platter. Surround with rice salad.  Enjoy!

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