There are lots of things I embrace as constants in my life. Like waking up with one less sock than what I went to bed with. Or the fact that nearly every morning there will be coffee. Dark, fragrant and perfectly-prepared coffee, in my favorite cup, handed to me by my favorite person. And also that I will make far more rice than is needed for whatever is for dinner.
That last one is something I’ve almost come to depend on, because it means finding fun ways to reuse the stuff. And there’s lots of fun options and a lot of them depend on the type of rice you have. If you’re like me, and you like to play with lots of stout, hardy rices like this one, or the one in this recipe (brown sushi rice), then you can do what I do… make a salad!
Now, funnily enough, I was reading a very timely similar recipe post by Molly at Orangette while I was creating mine. Same elements: leftover grain tossed with a bean-ish type protein (hers chickpeas, mine black beans) and a tasty dressing. This makes me cheer and feel confident in my recipe choice. Then Molly wonders to herself in writing it if this is the sort of thing that even warrants a full-blown recipe post… since it’s really just crashing a few pre-cooked ingredients together and calling it a day. This makes me doubt myself in and hate the day my recipe was born…
But that’s a short-lived feeling and I’m now glad I’m sharing this with you. Many of the very best recipes I make on a regular basis are simple one like this, made with a leftover something, and often that sort of “why didn’t I think of that?” moment. So here it is. A recipe about things you might have laying around after, say, a Mexican fiesta dinner.
Can I get an “Olé”?
Bright Black Bean + Rice Salad
Hands-On Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 – 40 minutes (including rice and/or bean cooking times)
Gluten-free, all natural, easy, minimal mess
3 cups / 400g cooked brown rice (I used brown sushi rice here), cooled to room temperature
1 ½ cups / 370g black beans, cooked (or canned and drained), cooled to room temperature
2 red/yellow/orange bell peppers, finely diced
2 medium shallots, minced
10 briny olives, pitted and chopped
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
1 nice big handful of micro greens, mesclun salad mix, arugula… some kind of dark green leafy things! (torn into bite-sizes, if needed)
Salt & pepper to taste
Juice of 1 lime
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
Pinch of chili flakes (optional)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
In a medium bowl, whisk together all ingredients for the dressing except the olive oil. In a steady stream, add olive oil, whisking constantly to incorporate.
In another large bowl, combine your salad ingredients except the leafy greens. Pour dressing over mixture, and toss to incorporate well.
Just before serving, add your leafy greens, and salt & pepper to taste, and toss again lightly.