Recipe: Red Beans & Rice Salad -

Recipe: Red Beans & Rice Salad

Originally, Red Beans and Rice was a traditional Monday meal in Louisiana Creole Cuisine. A slow cooking dish of beans, rice and often, but not always ham or sausage found its way to the dinner table after a day of scrubbing clothes on a washboard.

Now, some form of it can be found in many lucky southern cuisines. 

With St. Louis summers topping out in the high ‘90’s (if we’re lucky and they are not higher), most of us do not look favorably on long, slow cooking.  But the flavors linger in a red beans and rice salad.  It’s easy to assemble and replicates the taste. 

This salad should be made at least one day ahead to allow the flavors to meld.

Red Beans and Rice Salad
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup red onion, diced
1/2 cup yellow pepper, diced
1/2 cup red pepper, diced
1 cup long grain rice
1 teaspoon salt
1 -15 ounce can chicken broth
6 ounces fully cooked andouille or smoked sausage, diced
1- 15 ounce can red beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup celery, diced
3 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
1/4 teaspoon cayenne or to taste, optional

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Heat the oil in an ovenproof casserole pan.  When its hot, add the red onion and cook for several minutes until they are soft and translucent.  Add the yellow and red pepper.  Saute until they are just beginning to soften.  Add the rice cooking until it just begins to color.
Next goes in the salt.  Pour the broth into a 2 cup measure, add water to make up 2 cups.  Pour into the rice and bring to a boil.  Cover the casserole and put it into the oven.

Bake for 20 minutes.  The rice will be cooked.   Cool completely.  If you are in a hurry, quick cool the rice by spreading it out on a baking sheet.  Cover with plastic wrap so it doesn’t dry out.

When it is cool, combine it with the remaining ingredients in a large boil.

Vinaigrette Dressing
1 large clove garlic
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons dried thyme
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3/4 cup vegetable oil

Place the garlic, vinegar, thyme, salt, sugar and pepper in the blender.  Blend until smooth. Slowly add the vegetable oil and blend to emulsify.

Pour it over the rice mixture and stir to coat all of the ingredients. 

Serve at room temperature.

Yield:  4 to 5 servings

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