This rice and bean salad has a lot of variety which makes it very flavorful, colorful, and healthy! It was inspired from a rice salad made in culinary school at the Natural Gourmet Institute. Brown rice is a staple in my pantry- it’s great to have on hand for last minutes meals because you can use it in so many ways! It pairs great with beans and many different vegetables which is why I chose it for this salad recipe. All together, this salad provides a lot of textures, flavors, and a vast array of nutrients. Prep this salad for a week’s worth of lunches or have it as a side dish for dinner.
Yield: 6 cups of salad, 3/4 cup of sauce
- 1 cup brown rice, uncooked and rinsed clean
- 1 3/4 cup BOILING water
- 1 teaspoon sea salt, divided*
- 1/2 cup dry black beans, soaked overnight, drained, and rinsed OR 1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons lime juice, (1-2 limes)
- 1 tablespoon dijion mustard
- 5 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 1/4 cup whole unsalted walnuts
- 2 ribs celery, cut to approx. 1/4″ dice
- 1 large carrot, cut to approx. 1/4″ dice
- 1 red bell pepper, cut to approx. 1/4″ dice
- 3-4 tablespoons feta cheese
- In medium pot, add rice, BOILING water, and 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt. Bring back to a boil over high heat. Once it reaches a boil, reduce heat to a simmer.
- Cook rice, covered, for 30-35 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and allow rice to steam for another 15 minutes- still covered. Uncover and fluff with a fork. Let cool and add to a large bowl.
- *If using dry beans, drain soaked beans and rinse with water. Add to a medium pot, cover beans with 2-3 inches of water, and add 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt. Let beans gently simmer for about 30 minutes or until tender. Drain, rinse, and add to the bowl with rice. *If using canned beans, drain, rinse, and add to same bowl.
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Start prepping your sauce ingredients. Add rice vinegar, lime juice, dijon mustard, olive oil, parsley, and 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt to a blender. Blend for 30 seconds. Set aside.
- Place walnuts onto a baking sheet and toast in oven for 5-7 or until fragrant. Remove from oven and roughly chop.
- Add chopped walnuts, diced celery, carrot, red bell pepper, and feta cheese to rice and beans.
- Pour half of the dressing over the mixture and stir until all ingredients are lightly coated. (Don’t dump all at once!) However, feel free to add more if you like a heavier sauce.
- Leftovers can keep in the fridge for 1 week.
- This salad can be enjoyed cold or slightly warm.