I first had this particular salad a number of years ago, and I thought the concept was brilliant. Rice salad? Why hadn't I thought of that? The closest I ever came to something similar was a shrimp and orzo pasta salad that I dressed with vinaigrette - exceptionally good, I might add. Anyway, red bean and rice salad lends itself to culinary creativity, lime and cilantro, oregano and feta, and onward. Use your favorite flavor combination and you'll have a winner.
Red Bean & Rice Salad Printable recipe
1 cup dried red beans
1 dried bay leaf
1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1/2 cup minced parsley
1 cucumber, peeled and seeded
2 stalks celery, peeled to remove strings
4 scallions, white and green parts, sliced into small rounds
Pick over beans, and discard any broken ones.
Rinse, and place in a large saucepan.
Add bay leaf and enough water to cover beans by 2 inches.
Bring water to a boil; turn down heat, and cook at a steady simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. The cooking time will vary according to the age of the beans. Toward the end of the cooking time, add salt to taste. Let beans cool in liquid; drain when cool, and discard bay leaf.
Cook rice according to package directions.
Once cooked, fluff with a fork, and transfer to a bowl.
Cut cucumber and celery into 1/4 inch dice.
Add to rice along with beans and scallions.
Toss with vinaigrette.
Serve at room temperature.
3 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, or 1 tablespoon dried
3/4 cup olive oil
4 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 clove garlic, peeled and slightly crushed
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Chop thyme leaves to release the flavor. In a small bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Add chopped thyme; whisk well.