Southwestern Rice & Pinto Bean Salad

This salad is an easy, colorful side dish which provides good flavor and protein. It can be paired with roasted vegetable to complete the meal.

Equipment:

Saucepan for rice
Baking sheet
Small skillet or frying pan
Food processor or blender
Large bowl

Ingredients

1 cup brown basmati rice
2 cups water
2 teaspoons cumin seeds, or 1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/8  cup white vinegar
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano, or 1 teaspoon dried
1 large clove garlic, crushed and peeled
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 15-ounce cans pinto beans, rinsed (you can also used dry beans and soak overnight and then cook according to directions)
8 scallions, trimmed and sliced (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 medium bell pepper, (green, yellow, orange or red), chopped (about 1 cup)

Preparation

  1. Combine rice and water (2 cups water if using brown basmati) in a 3-quart saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook until all the water has been absorbed (40 to 45 minutes).  Remove from heat and let rest covered for 10 minutes. Spread the rice out on a large baking sheet until cooled to room temperature, about 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile toast cumin in a small skillet over medium-high heat until fragrant and lightly toasted (1 to 2 minutes for seeds or 1 minute for ground cumin). Transfer to a blender or food processor and let cool for several minutes. Add oil, vinegar, oregano, garlic, salt and pepper and process until the garlic is finely chopped.
  3. Transfer the rice to a large bowl and toss with beans, scallions and bell pepper. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss well to combine.

submitted by Katherine Figel

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