Topic for August 3 Fun Monday--favorite summertime dishes. Our host this week is Sayre over at Sayre Smiles . She invites us to share the recipe, or directions, for making a favorite quick and easy summertime dish. Anything goes--entree, vegetable, casserole, dessert. Well, excellent timing Sayre, because I'd just gotten in all the ingredients to try out a salad recipe that, from the way it read, was going to be a favorite. Made it this afternoon and bingo! It's easy, delicious, and healthy--Red Pepper Deli's Black Bean and Rice Salad.
One of the most enjoyable sections of The Courier-Journal, our local newspaper, is the Wednesday Cook's Corner. People enjoy a particular dish at a local eatery and start craving the recipe. The writer for this column has a great track record for wrangling recipes out of local chefs. This week it was all about salads. The local farmers' markets are exploding with the freshest vegetables of the season, the weather is hot and humid--perfect time to make salads. Cook's Corner featured three local salad recipes: Mama Grisanti's house salad, a chipotle chicken pasta, and black bean and rice salad from the Red Pepper Deli. All three were tempting, but I decided to try this one:
Red Pepper Deli's Black Bean and Rice Salad
1. Cook 2 C basmati (I used texmati) rice in 4 C water until al dente--only takes about 15 min., unlike long grain rice
2. Make dressing: combine 1 C apple cider vinegar, 2 tbsp. grill seasoning, 1/2 tbsp. cayenne pepper, 2 tsp. garlic salt. Whisk in 2/3 C vegetable oil
3. Pour 1/2 of dressing over rice while still warm. Let rice cool.
4. Chop these vegetables in 1/2 in. dice: 1 green pepper, 1 red pepper, 2 tomatoes (seed and drain the tomatoes to keep salad from becoming watery), 1/2 C red onion
5. Drain liquid from 3 15-oz. cans black beans, rinse to remove some of starch
6. In a LARGE bowl combine the chopped vegetables from step 4, black beans and 1 lb. frozen corn (you could use fresh corn--boil ears for only 1-2 minutes and then cut off cob) . Pour remaining 1/2 of dressing over vegetables. Marinate for about 1 hour.
7. Then carefully combine the rice and vegetables so you don't break up the beans or mush the rice.
8. Refrigerate for several hours to let flavors meld before serving.
9. Serves 6-8 generously as an entree salad. It would be a great salad for a picnic or cookout because there's nothing to spoil--good cold or room temperature. I served it with some plain mixed salad greens and simple grilled salmon. Delicious!
So, there you have it--my new favorite summertime dish. And, how I enjoy having something tucked away in the fridge so that cooking dinner requires no more effort than filling up a salad bowl and pouring up a glass of my best summer drink: an Arnold Palmer iced tea. That's simple too: just combine equal parts sweet tea and lemonade (I use Crystal Light country lemonade mix with an extra shot of fresh lemon juice). Add ice cubes and stir. Now dinner this easy leaves lots of time to go over to Sayre's place to check out other Fun Monday summertime favorites!
(Photo credit: Pam Spaulding, The Courier-Journal)