Succulent Saturday: Black Bean and Rice Salad

Today’s recipe is an old one that originally appeared in Bon Apetit circa 1991, long before I was enjoying much more than PB&J sandwiches. Nevertheless, it is another favorite in our house. Though I must admit that I make two versions of this as my wife isn’t keen on all the “stuff.” Hers is rice and seasonings only, which on second thought would actually make a fairly good side dish. *files away for later use*

This recipe was given to me by mom who in turn got it from Helen, who I wrote about briefly here. Part of me likes knowing that this recipe was originally enjoyed by one of my favorite people. But enough of that.

This salad is great with summer barbecues, apropos of almost everything as this is the July 4th weekend, but is great on its own as a main dish and one that I often eat for lunch in the summer. The black beans pack enough protein punch that I’m not left starving at 3pm. The orange juice provides just enough sweetness that the vinegar is not overpowering and complements the spiciness of the cilantro nicely. Feel free to substitue orange and/or yellow peppers as well as suits your color palette.

  • 2 14 1/2-ounce cans chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 1-pound package long-grain rice
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 15-ounce cans black beans, drained, rinsed
  • 2 red bell peppers, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • 1 medium bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • Fresh cilantro sprigs

Bring chicken broth and water to boil in heavy large saucepan. Add rice and bay leaves. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook until liquid is absorbed, about 20-25 minutes.

Combine olive oil, orange juice, red wine vinegar, cumin, and chili powder. Mix into black beans.

Transfer rice to large bowl and fluff with fork. Mix in black bean mixture, bell peppers, red onion, and chopped cilantro. Season salad to taste with salt and pepper.


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