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Southwest Rice Salad

I came across this recipe a week or so ago while browsing on the Epicurious iPhone app (which I am obsessed with) and couldn’t wait to try out my version of it. I changed a few things around like using brown rice instead of white and I added some things that weren’t in the original recipe (the beans, banana pepper, green zucchini, etc). Also, considering the corn that we got at the farmers market this week was still very small and a bit early in the season, we didn’t have a lot of it in the dish. Later in the season, that part of the dish will be even better, so we will for sure have to make this again when the corn is tastier. I was very excited though, that we did get to include the first banana pepper of the season from our garden to add a little heat on top of the poblano that was already in there. I made a bit larger of a serving that what the recipe called for, so we could eat it for lunches throughout the week. For a side dish at one meal, you could probably get away with just making 1 cup of rice.

We decided to cook up the corn and other veggies on the grill, which we were already heating up, so we could get some of that lovely smokey grill taste in the dish. You could easily cook the veggies in a non-stick skillet over a medium heat on the stove top if that is easier. This dish was light and refreshing and was the perfect side to the pork steaks from Sojourner Farms that we were cooking up. It had a very subtle spicy kick from the peppers and a great bright flavor from the lime.

Southwest Rice Salad

Southwest Rice Salad
serves at least 8 as a side dish, less if you are serving it as your main entree
adapted from Bon Appétit

2 cups long-grain organic brown rice
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 cups fresh corn kernels (cut from 2 or ears) or frozen corn kernels, thawed
1 large fresh poblano pepper, diced
1 seeded spicy banana pepper, diced
1 medium zucchini, cubed
1 medium yellow squash, cubed
1 avocado, halved, peeled, diced
1 cup of canned organic black beans, drained and rinsed
3/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
3/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
salt
freshly ground black pepper

Cook rice until just tender, follow directions on the package. Ours cooked for 50 minutes. Drain and rinse in cold water. Drain again. Meanwhile, whisk lime juice, garlic and 3 tablespoons of olive oil in small bowl. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.

Start your grill and get it to a medium-high temperature. Wrap the ears of corn in foil and place them on the grill. Toss the peppers, squash and zucchini with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and add to a grill pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the grill pan on the medium-high grill. Cook the corn until it is done, approximately 10-15 minutes, cut off the cob once done and slightly cooled. Sauté the vegetables until they are just tender and starting to brown up a little, 15-20 minutes; scrape into a large serving bowl. Add rice, beans, green onions, cilantro, and dressing; toss to coat, top with avocado. Season with salt and pepper.

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