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Black Bean and Rice Salad

March 19, 2012

I was recently going through my pantry and realized I had three cans of black beans.  I like having a well stocked pantry and canned beans are great but I definitely didn’t need that many.  With temperatures around 60, I wasn’t going to make chili anytime soon.  So I decided to make a rice and bean salad that I could bring for lunch this week.  Even I was impressed at how delicious this was….there was barely enough left to bring for lunch!

The best part about bean and grain salads is you can adjust everything to your taste.  I’m giving you the rough amounts I used but you can add more or less of anything.  I used a relatively high ratio of vegetables to rice but you can tweak the ratio to your liking.  Use different peppers, add some minced serrano or jalapeño, sprinkle some cumin or cayenne on top, omit the tomatoes, use lime juice instead of vinegar…the possibilities are endless!

I can’t wait to serve this with grilled chicken or fish in the summer.  It would also be great as a vegatarian burrito or taco filling.  Salads like this hold up very well for travel so I know it’s entering my lineup for picnics at the beach.

Black Bean and Rice Salad
makes 2-3 meal servings or 4 side dish servings

1 14 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
one medium red bell pepper, diced
2 medium tomatoes, diced (I used a bunch of cherry tomatoes – get whatever tomatoes look best)
3-4 scallions, white and green parts, chopped
one small bunch cilantro, leaves and stems, roughly chopped
2 cups cooked rice
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
2-3 tablespoons champagne or white wine vinegar
freshly ground black pepper

Combine black beans, pepper, tomatoes, scallions and cilantro in a large bowl.  Mix gently with a rubber spatula. Add rice, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons vinegar and season with salt and pepper.  Let sit for 5 minutes. Taste and add more olive, vinegar, salt and pepper if necessary.


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