carribean-style rice salad

This is a total spin on something traditionally called ‘rice and beans’, usually served hot as a side to many chicken, goat or game meat curries or main dishes. It’s so hot here in Brisbane at the moment, so I need to create something refreshing to go with my Jerk Chicken and ‘tatoes – something to feed the masses, that wasn’t hot.

Chilled rice salad is a perfect winner in this family, you simply cannot go wrong. I believe, traditionally, rice and beans’ is prepared with white rice, but I much prefer the texture and nutty flavour of brown rice, wild rice would be spectacular too !

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Carribean-Style Rice Salad

Ingredients
– 1 1/2 cups of uncooked brown rice
– 2L of vegetable stock – I like to use stock to cook brown rice as it imparts some flavour into the grain, but feel free to use water.
– 1 can of drained black beans
– 1 can of drained kidney beans
– 2 cobs of corn
– 1/2 a capsicum, diced finely
– 5 lengths of spring onions

Dressing:
– 2 cloves of garlic, minced
– 1 long red chilli, deseeded and chopped finely
– 1/4 of extra virgin olive oil
– zest of 1/4 lime + juice of half
– zest of 1/4 lemon + juice of half
– cracked pepper
– salt

1. Cook the brown rice in the vegetable stock until tender – drain, and cool.
2. Slice the spring onions finely until you reach the white portion of the stalk. Set aside the sliced spring onions as we will use these in the final stages. Oil and season the white portion of the spring onions and chargrill until they have developed some colour. Chill these immediately after grilling to maintain some of their texture.
3. Oil and season the corn, and chargrill until the kernels have beautiful colour on them. Set aside until cool enough to handle then shave the kernals into a large bowl – being careful to preserve any ‘corn-milk’ that comes out. Slice the chilled chargrilled spring onion ends, discarding the roots, and place these in the same bowl.
4. To the same bowl add the black beans, kidney beans and capsicum + chilled cooked rice. Stir until combined and refrigerate.
5. In a small bowl whisk all of the dressing ingredients together, and season well.
6. Just before serving dress the rice salad with enough dressing to evenly coat the rice – it’s important to just add enough, and not too much dressing otherwise your vegetables and rice will become soggy.
7. Add the sliced spring onions and stir to ensure everything is combined. Taste ! Check for seasoning and serve chilled amongst your favourite mains.

— Serves 8 (as sides)

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