Monday, November 2, 2009

Salad for Salad-Haters

First of all, I am not really into salads. They are often boring, they are rarely filling, and wilty lettuce gives me the creeps. So, for the most part, I steer clear of salads. But my mom made this salad just before I moved, and I have been craving it ever since, so I made it for Sam last week-- and then ate it for several days in a row and shared it with some extended family. A couple times I found Bria standing with the fridge door open eating out of the salad bowl (including popping green onion in her mouth and chewing with delight), and every time I ate it, she perched down next to me and helped herself to everything in my plate, use her little fingers like tongs to pick out what she wanted to eat (usually the lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumbers)
The recipe comes from my Aunt Karen, and I have no idea where she got it. But I love the complexity of this dish. The wild rice adds such an awesome texture, depth, and flavor, it feels like this salad is a real meal. And the flavors aren't strictly lettuce and dressing-- the rice helps here too-- but all of the other vegetables blend so well together, it feels like a masterpiece in your mouth. And, despite never being a lover of salad, I have always been a lover of French dressing, so there you go. I give you Southwest Wild Rice and Black Bean Salad, adapted from Aunt Karen:

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 heads romaine lettuce, chopped into salad-sized pieces
1 bunch green onions
1 cucumber
10ish grape tomatoes
1 avacado
1-2 c cheddar cheese, shredded (or colby jack)
1-2 c blue corn tortilla chips, lightly crushed
1 rounded c wild rice (cooked)
1/2 t chili powder
1/2 t cumin
1/2 t cayenne
1/2 t garlic powder
French dressing (I like the creamy French)

In a small bowl, combine the wild rice with the spices. In a large serving bowl, combine other ingredients. Then, devour! This serves a TON, so if it's just for a couple people, either scale it back or enjoy the leftovers. If you do keep it, don't dress the salad, just add the dressing to each part as you eat it. Also know that the chips will lose their crunch and become more like bits of tortilla rather than tortilla chip. I didn't mind this, but it bothered Sam. The original recipe calls for one head of romaine and one head of red leaf lettuce as well as 2 cups of shredded pepper jack cheese and 1 c cheddar cheese. Both of my substitutions came from what I already had in my fridge and didn't feel like making a trip to the grocery store for. I'm sure following either method would turn out equally delicious.

1 comment:

  1. that sounds soooo gooood!!! thanks for doing this blog!