I am not a very big meat eater, if you have browsed the list of recipes here you may have noticed meat is not one of my main ingredients. I am not a vegetarian, but I would rather eat vegetables, fruits, and grains more so than a big steak. I make this dish fairly regularly, specially on the nights I am cooking for myself. I love to eat this over some crisp greens while still warm or chilled as a salad, specially in the summer time.
The color and flavor the Saffron imparts on the rice is wonderful. The longer the beans and peppers marinate in the dressing, the more flavorful they will become. The dish comes together in under 30 minutes.
Caribbean Black Bean and Rice Salad
1 cup uncooked jasmine rice
2 cups water (to cook the rice)
2 pinches saffron threads, about 1/8 teaspoon
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 yellow bell pepper, diced
1/2 red or orange bell pepper, diced
1 small tomato, seeded and diced
1/4 -1/2 jalapeno pepper (depending on how spicy you like it)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
salt and pepper to taste
1 avocado, sliced for garnish
additional cilantro leaves for garnish
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder blend
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
freshly ground black pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
1. In a small sauce-pan over medium heat, bring water to a boil. Add saffron and rice, stir well place lid on pot and reduce heat to simmer. Cook until water has absorbed and rice is tender, about 20 minutes. Or, alternatively cook in a rice maker according to directions.
2. Make the vinaigrette by combining vinaigrette ingredients in a small bowl with a whisk until emulsified, set aside. While rice is cooking chop and combine peppers, tomatoes, cilantro, and black beans. Add half of the vinaigrette and toss to combine, season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside.
3. When the rice is cooked, place in a medium bowl and toss with the other half of the vinaigrette while rice is still warm. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
4. Combine rice and bean mixture and serve garnishing with avocado and additional cilantro.