Black bean and wild rice salad is a flexible dish, it even doesn’t have to be a salad. You could serve it warm as well. Modify this very versatile recipe for the occasion and your taste. Add some shredded cheddar or crumbled goat cheese and it could be the center of a vegetarian feast. It is a perfect side dish for a BBQ or pot luck. Best of all it can be made a few hours ahead, it doesn’t require any last minute attention other than a sprinkling of chopped cilantro. The flavors will improve by sitting for a few hours. If made ahead, refrigerate the salad and bring it up to cool room temperature, sprinkle with cilantro and serve.
I know that wild rice can be pricy. Modify by using leftover cooked brown rice, it would work as a substitute. When I cook any kind of rice I always prepare more than I will use. Day old rice makes the best fried rice, and cooked rice freezes well in heavy duty freezer bags. Portion as much as you will need for a meal. label it, and pop it in the freezer. When you want to use it, add a few drops of water to the bag and reheat in the microwave.
INGREDIENTS (serves 4 – 6)
- 1 can of black beans, rinsed and drained (or 1 1/2 cups of cooked and drained black beans)
- 1 1/2 cups cooked wild rice (about 1 cup uncooked)
- 1 bunch of spring onions or scallions, chopped
- 1 clove of garlic, finely minced
- 1 English or thin skinned cucumber, chopped into cubes (if using a regular cuke, peel and seed it first)
- 1/2 pint of cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 red pepper, chopped
- 1 avocado chopped
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1/4 – 1/2 tsp red pepper (depending on desired heat)
- Salt to taste
- Lemon and/or lime juice, about 1/4 cup
- Olive oil, about 1/4-1/2 cup
- Chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
- Prepare the wild rice according to package directions, drain and cool.
- In a large bowl mix the black beans, onions, garlic, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, red pepper together.
- Add the chili powder, cumin, red pepper and salt. Taste and see if it needs any additional seasoning.
- Toss with the juice of a lemon or 2 limes, then add the olive oil. I start with the smallest amount and taste, adding more if needed.
- Serve, or chill until serving time. Garnish with chopped cilantro or parsley.
I am taking this salad to Fiesta Friday #171. It will be a perfect balance to the array of dishes brought by other bloggers. Click here to read the posts, please add your own to the party.