With a guacamole-style dressing, this salad makes a flavourful and hearty side-dish for a picnic, a barbeque, or a pot-luck…also great for a complete lunch. If you think it may be too spicy, the heat can be tempered by adjusting the amount of chipotle chili powder.
And, if you find that the dressing too thick, it is easily thinned with a little extra olive oil. …or if you find that there is too much dressing for your taste, just add what you need …save the rest for another salad ….or tear open a bag of tortilla chips ..and dip!
Southwestern Rice and Bean Salad
Number of Servings: 4-6
1/2 cup (125 mL) long-grain white or brown rice, uncooked
1 teaspoon (5 mL) oil
1 can (540 mL / 19 fl oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup (250 mL) corn, minimally cooked and cooled
1 cup (250 mL) chopped fresh tomatoes
¼ cup (60 mL) finely chopped red onion
1 poblano or Anaheim pepper, diced
¼ cup (60 mL) chopped fresh cilantro
Avocado Cilantro Dressing:
2 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
¼ cup (60 mL) cilantro, roughly chopped
Juice of 1 lime (about 2 tablespoons)
1 teaspoon lime zest
½ teaspoon (2.5 mL) ground cumin
½ teaspoon (2.5 mL) chipotle chili powder
2 tablespoons (30 mL) extra virgin olive oil
1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and roughly chopped
Sea salt; freshly ground black pepper
- Pour rice into a pot of boiling salted water. Cook 15-20 minutes (or as directed by the package) until soft and tender. Drain, give a quick rinse in cold water, and place in a large salad bowl. Stir in 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Set aside to cool.
- Prepare the remaining salad ingredients, except cilantro, and add to the rice.
- Make the dressing: In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, place the garlic, cilantro, lime juice and zest, cumin, chipotle, and olive oil. Process until very finely chopped. Add the avocado and some salt and pepper to taste; pulse until it is pureed and the mixture is smooth. Add a little drizzle of oil if the mixture seems too thick. Pour ½ of the dressing over salad ingredients and gently stir to incorporate. Add more dressing as needed. If you have too much dressing, save it for another day, or use it as a dip.
- Refrigerate for at least one hour prior to serving. Just before serving, fold in more dressing, if needed. Fold in the ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro. Adjust the seasonings if necessary.
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