Friday, February 24, 2012

Cuban Beans and Rice Salad

This easy salad does double duty; perfect for dinner, it also travels well for lunch at work the next day.

  • 1/2 cup peeled and diced avocado
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 cups cooked white rice
  • 1 cup seeded and chopped plum tomato
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 1 (15-ounce) rinsed and drained can black beans
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
1. Combine the avocado, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, cumin, salt, and black pepper in a bowl; toss gently.

2. Add the rice, plum tomato, parsley, black beans, and cilantro, and toss well.

Note: Omit the cilantro if you're not a fan; I've recently learned that some people have a genetic dislike for it, so leave it out if that's the case for you.

You can serve the salad chilled or at room temperature.  Because you can cook the rice ahead of time, this salad will come together in moments.

Tonight I served with baked tortilla chips and a simple pineapple salsa: in a bowl, toss together 3 cups chopped pineapple, 2 tablespoons chopped green onions, 2 teaspoons chopped jalapeno pepper, 2 teaspoons chopped fresh mint, 1 teaspoon chopped fresh cilantro, 1 teaspoon fresh-squeezed lime juice, 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin, and 1/8 teaspoon salt.  These amounts make for a fiery salsa; if you want less heat, I recommend seeding the jalapeno or using less.

Nutrition Info:
6 servings (1 cup), Calories 184 

Tasting Notes:
The dish had nice, subtle flavors - nothing over the top or too bold.  The balsamic vinegar was quite good in combination with the avocado and black beans. I would add more cumin, more avocado, and other spices such as coriander next time, but since - as mentioned - my pineapple salsa was fiery tonight, I appreciated the mildness of the rice and beans in comparison. 


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