The teeth rattling, bone chilling St. Louis temperature last weekend had me thinking of Mexico. Weighing obligations, counting accrued vacation hours, and dreaming of lunch under a palapa. I think I can see a peek of ocean through the fuschia bougainvillea.
Am I still in St. Louis? Sigh. Well, I don't have to eat like it's below freezing out. How about a vibrant salad? The colors of this salad are a delight. Tasty as is, it would also make a delicious wrap filling. Slather a warmed whole wheat tortilla with some bean dip or vegan cream cheese sprinkled with chili powder, add some salad, wrap, and eat. I'd rather eat it under a palapa, but for now this will have to do.
Sunny Rice Salad with Black Beans
Adapted from Food and Wine
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups jasmine rice
2 3/4 cups water
1 bay leaf
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 orange bell pepper, chopped
1 carrot, sliced
about 28 grape tomatoes, halved
1 cup baby spinach, chopped
1 Tablespoon white wine vinegar
2 handfuls cilantro, chopped
sliced scallions and lime wedges as condiments
In a medium saucepan, heat oil over low heat. Add the onion and cook about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, turmeric, cumin, 1 teaspoon of salt, pepper, and rice. Cook for two minutes, stirring occasionally. Add water and bay leaf. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for about 18 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Remove bay leaf.
Combine rice with remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Garnish each serving with scallions and a lime wedge for spritzing some fresh juice.