Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Summer Rice and Beans

Overheard last summer:

Mom: I wonder what we should have for supper tonight. . .
Daughter: Mom, couldn't we have rice and beans? We haven't had that for a while.
Mom (horrified): That's winter food! I can't think of rice and beans in the summer!
Daughter (wistfully): I just kind of miss it.

I went off to fiddle in the kitchen, and this, my very own recipe, is the result. Now Clara can have her rice and beans year round! This is a very sturdy salad without mayo - good for an outdoor summer potluck.

Margo's Summer Rice & Beans
In serving bowl, combine:
2 c. cooked rice, brown or white, warm or cold
1-2 c. black beans
1-2 c. blanched corn (thawed frozen corn, or cut off the cob in peak sweet corn season)

Mix and add dressing:
1/4 c. olive oil
zest and juice of 1.5 limes
1 tsp. salt
2-3 minced garlic cloves

Allow to marinate in fridge if time. Before serving, add:
1/4 c. chopped onion
1/3 c. chopped cilantro
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 c. grated cheddar

Taste to see if there's enough lime - use the other half lime as needed.
Sprinkle with crushed tortilla chips at the table.

add chopped cucumber or sweet peppers
add chili powder and/or cumin
vary the beans (I used pintos from my freezer for the meal pictured here)
serve on lettuce
use salsa if you don't have good tomatoes on hand
use avocado for part or all of the cheese - toss with a bit of lemon juice first

Summer rice and beans really is a complete meal (veg, carbs, protein), but it's strawberry season. . . .so we dipped them in what I like to call Italian Meringue, but is actually called Quick Fluffy White Icing in my cookbook (recipe in this post).


Jennifer Jo said...

I WISH my kids begged for rice and beans! We eat them year round anyway, often in the form of haystacks or just plain, maybe with flour tortillas or quesadillas.

Laura said...

Your salad looks delicious! What a great way to take a hot meal and make it work as a cold one!

When I was in a co-op in NC, we used to all eat lunch together as we worked on sorting out the food. One of my favorite salads that a friend made was this:

Cold cooked brown rice
black olives
green olives
1 can tuna
Italian dressing

Combine all ingredients in measure to suit, chill, and serve. It's delicious.

Deanna Beth said...

What a pretty meal!

Jennifer Jo said...

Okay. So I've been thinking about this all day, about how you say beans and rice are winter fare. I agree with you---legumes are for winter---but then I got to scratching my head because beans and rice come from Central America where it's hot year round. In Managua, the armpit of Central America, the Nicaraguans ate beans and rice three times a day. So, what do you have to say about that, huh?

Christian - Modobject@Home said...

I can't wait to try this because it sounds cool and delicious. Perfect to make ahead and have on hand for lunch.

Margo said...

JJ, now you're making me think. Except that I don't think all legumes are for winter - we eat lots of hummus, tabbouleh, and other bean dips and salads in warm weather.

I'm guessing if you tried to chill the rice and beans for the Nicaraguans, they would find it strange and unwelcome. In the same way, I would find hot rice and beans strange and unwelcome on a hot day.

But friends who grew up in India tell me that hot tea is recommended on hot days to cool you off. That may be, but I'm not at all tempted to try!

There's nothing stopping the Central Americans from eating their rice and beans room temp, even if they don't have refrigeration. . . nothing but tradition, I'm betting.

Laura, thanks for another recipe - looks very refreshing and it's so simple.

Kay S. said...

I found this post on Saturday afternoon and we enjoyed the recipe on Saturday night. My meat loving husband said it was a keeper, my daughter loved it, and my son said it was OK. Oh well, 2 out of 3 ain't bad!

Kyle M. said...

Thank you for sharing this recipe, we love it! I'm going to make it this week for the 3rd time. We like it with cucumbers, avocado and cheddar cheese on top.