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Southwestern Rice & Pinto Bean Salad
“The slightly chewy texture of ruddy-red Wehani rice makes it perfect for salads. Serve it mounded on a bed of Boston lettuce or curly frisée.”
1 cup Wehani brown rice, (see Note) or brown basmati rice
2-2½ cups water
2 teaspoons cumin seeds, or 1 teaspoon ground cumin
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano, or 1 teaspoon dried
1 large clove garlic, crushed and peeled
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 15-ounce cans pinto beans, rinsed
8 scallions, trimmed and sliced (about 1½ cups)
1 medium bell pepper, (green, yellow, orange or red), chopped (about 1 cup)
1Combine rice and water (2 cups water if using brown basmati) in a 3-quart saucepan; 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; let rest, covered, for 10 minutes. Spread the rice out on a large baking sheet until cooled to room temperature, about 15 minutes.
2Meanwhile, toast cumin in a small skillet over medium-high heat until fragrant and lightly toasted, 1 to 2 minutes for seeds, 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.
3Transfer 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.
Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.
Note: Wehani rice, an aromatic brown rice related to basmati, has a sweet, nutty flavor, a light reddish color, and splits like wild rice when cooked. It can be found in the health-foods section of large supermarkets or at natural-foods stores.