Saturday, February 06, 2010

Brown Rice Salad with Orange Chipotle Vinaigrette

Well, it's official - I'm snowed in for the weekend. I'm not sure of the exact measurement of how much we got (and it's still snowing) but it's somewhere between over the knee and under the waist. That's a pretty scientific measurement, right?

There's nothing like having all day to be in the house, and it's given me a great opportunity to monkey around in the kitchen. I've got a huge stack of cookbooks next to me and a note pad absolutely covered with ideas, so today should be quite the productive day - foodwise, that is.

I've recently fallen back in love with brown rice. I picked up a gorgeous bag of some organic brown rice and wanted a fun, yet different way to use it, so rice salad it is.

This is a delicious salad. The dressing has just the right mixture of sweet and spicy, and combined with the heartiness of the rice and black beans, you have a salad that could easily stand on its own as the main event. This is also a great make ahead dish, so this is definitely one you may want to file away for future use when guests are coming over.

Brown Rice Salad with Orange Chipotle Vinaigrette

Brown Rice Salad with Orange Chipotle Vinaigrette
Serves 4-6

4 cups fresh orange juice
2 tsp pureed chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (or more, should you really want to kick it up!)
1/2 tsp cumin
2 tsp agave nectar (or honey)

4 cups cooked and chilled brown rice
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 c diced red onion
1/4 c chopped fresh cilantro

In a medium saucepan, boil orange juice until reduced to 2/3 cup. (This takes about 25-30 minutes). Remove from heat and set aside to cool. In a small food processor, blend reduced orange juice, chipotle peppers, cumin, and agave until well combined.
In a large bowl, combine rice, beans, onion, and cilantro. Pour vinaigrette over salad and toss until well combined. Serve and enjoy!