Spicy Rice and Fermented Black Bean Salad with Zucchini

Here we go, the last of the 101 Salads of Bittman. Thank you to Mark B. for such a wonderful journey.

This salad takes some short grain rice and mixes it with a wild collection of ingredients, which somehow work together. Often when making Bittman’s salads, I have imagined him at his kitchen bench, going, “right, what is in the fridge today, what is in the pantry, what is left over from last night?”. And somehow and amazing salad comes into being.

For his rice salads, I use an Indian rice – idli rice, in fact. It is a hard rice and needs more water and longer cooking than other rices, but I love that this short grain rice retains its integrity when cooked. It doesn’t collapse or become mushy. I generally have this rice in my pantry – but no need to buy it specially – use the short grained rice that you have on hand.

Are you after similar recipes? Try Quick Zucchini with Garlic, Carrot Rice, Zucchini Rice, and Coconut Rice.

Or you can browse all of our Rice Salads, and in fact all of our Rice dishes. All of our Bittman recipes are here. Or take some time to explore our Early Winter dishes.

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Coconut Rice and Peas Salad with Spinach

Rice makes great salads – cooked, cooled, tossed with other ingredients, a dressing added if necessary, and served at room temperature. It is a variation on the Indian and Middle Eastern Pilaf, and is just as good.

Rice Salads have moved away from the rice salads that my Mother used to make. They were bland, and depended on the play of colours of capsicums, tomatoes and cucumber for their appeal. Sorry Mum, it was the fashion of the time, I know, but I am glad we have moved on from these salads.

Today, we make rice salads in such a variety of ways. You will enjoy this one where the rice is cooked in coconut milk and tossed with peas, nuts and spinach.

Are you after similar recipes? Try Spicy Rice and Fermented Black Bean Salad, South Indian Coconut Rice, and Balinese Coconut Rice.

You can browse our Rice Salads, or all of our many many Salads. Our Pea recipes are here. Or explore our Early Winter recipes for inspiration.

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Not Quite Fried Rice Salad

Are you like me and always cook too much rice? Here is your solution. An easy salad to put together using last night’s left over rice. How simple is that? It is a bit like fried rice – without the frying! Delicious.

This is a Bittman Salad – we are making all of his 101 Salads, all of the vegetarian ones at least. We are on the home-run now, with less than 7 more to make.

Are you after other Rice dishes? Try our Coconut Rice and Peas Salad, Carrot Rice, Zucchini Rice, and all of our Risottos.

All of our Rice dishes are here and all of the Bittman Salads we have made are here. Or browse all of our Early Winter recipes.

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Boondi Salad with Chickpeas and Coconut Dressing

For a change we bring you a salad that features either boondi or puffed rice. You can buy these easily at your Indian grocer. If purchasing puffed rice from the supermarket, make sure that you are not buying sweetened cereal. You need an unsweetened one for this dish.

Boondi are a deep fried, pearl sized, crispy Indian snack food prepared from gram flour (chickpea flour) and few spices. Make sure you have the unsweetened variety of these also. They are available from Indian groceries. Boondi often comes with its own prepared spice mix included in the packet. You can add it to the salad.

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Rice, Wild Rice and Quinoa Salad With Nuts and Barberries

This is one of those recipes that gives Ottolenghi’s recipes a bad wrap – lots of ingredients, but even worse, SIX different cooking processes each with its own pots and pans and utensils to be washed, bench to be cleaned. It better be worth it, I thought. It is not a dish for weeknights. And I recommend washing up the pans as you go, even if you have a dishwasher.

First you cook the wild rice, then the basmati, then the quinoa. While they have to be cooked separately, it can be done simultaneously. Then the nuts are toasted and next the onions are sauteed. Finally, all ingredients come together and are dressed. Tarragon is far too expensive here to buy for one salad, so that is omitted.

This is an Ottolenghi dish from Plenty More – we are cooking our way through this book. We feel free to substitute ingredients that are not readily available in our local area. I made a couple of changes to the recipe. Ottolenghi uses Sour Cherries, but they are difficult to find locally. I use Barberries, which are easily found in Middle Eastern and Afghani groceries. I also use lime or lemon, whichever is on the kitchen bench. Also, I will swap the herbs out for what is available at the time. I like to keep parsley, but sometimes the heat of Summer gets to the basil, so I might use Thai Basil or lemon balm, or other soft, leafy herb. And rocket will get subbed for baby spinach if that is what I have  – I may add a tart element to replace the bite of rocket (e.g. a little raw onion, spring onion, capers, or sour grapes).

Ottolenghi salad recipes are always huge, enough to serve an army. Making a third or half of the recipe is usually enough for four of us. Scale for your own numbers, size of serve, and appetite.  This salad is particularly large, even a half recipe will be great for a BBQ lunch for half an army.

So is this salad worth the work? I rarely say this about Ottolenghi’s dishes, but, no. It’s a good salad, even a great salad. But I prefer to make it when I want to use up left over rice, onions and/or quinoa. I sub the wild rice for chickpeas, as wild rice is a reasonably expensive ingredient. Having said that, it does work as is as a dish for a friend’s lunch or BBQ when you only want 1 large, visually pleasing  salad to accompany the main course.

It is Ottolenghi Cooking the Books Day on the blog – one of two days per month where we publish the latest recipes we have tried in our project of cooking from Ottolenghi’s books – those we have cooked directly and those we have been inspired by. Currently we are cooking from Plenty More, but not ignoring his other books completely. Note that I often massage the recipes to suit what is available from our garden and pantry. For the original recipes, check his books and his Guardian column.

Similar recipes include Quinoa Salad with Tomatoes, Parsley and Pinenuts, Not Quite Fried Rice Salad, Sweet Pepper and Rice Salad, and Green Mango and Coconut Rice.

Browse all of our Rice Salads, and all of our Quinoa dishes. Our Ottolenghi recipes are here. Or explore our Mid Summer dishes.

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Red Rice and Quinoa with Orange and Pistachios

Quinoa seems to be out of fashion now, but it still has a place in our pantry. This is such a healthy salad, in fact it balances the best of the healthy world with the tasty world of food. Quinoa tastes great, has a satisfying, bouncy texture and is one of the healthiest foodstuffs going. It is said to have more protein than any other grain and the perfect set of amino acids.

This salad combines the quinoa with rice. I have made this salad with both the skinny variety of red rice and also with black rice. Both are amazing, with a wonderful nutty flavour. I have also seen recipes for this dish made with Indian red rice (see comments below), and will experiment with that combination in the future. It is certainly more cost effective.

This is another amazing Ottolenghi dish, from his first book, Ottolenghi. in fact, today it is Ottolenghi day on the blog – one of two days per month where we publish all the latest posts of recipes we have tried in our project of cooking from Ottolenghi books – currently we are cooking mostly from Plenty More, but not ignoring his other books completely. Hence this salad from Ottolenghi. Note that I often slightly massage the recipes to suit what is available from our garden and pantry.

Interestingly this same recipe is included in Chris Manfiled’s Tasting India, as a recipe from the Himalayan regions of India where red rice (patn1) and red quinoa are grown. The recipe differs in the rices used – she uses patna and Ottolenghi uses French rice – and Ottolenghi adds pistachios. Chris also uses red rather then white quinoa. While (to my mind) it sits uncomfortably in Chris’ book, the book is a collection of recipes given to her by people across India, so it is conceivable that the recipe provided (without provenance) was Ottolenghi’s. To be fair, we are not given the origins of the recipe in Ottolenghi’s book either, and the combination is probably common to areas of the Middle East and Mediterranean. For example, see Cypriot Grain Salad.

Today, instead of using rocket which will never grow well in our garden, we used a combination of three greens to give that sour and peppery taste that rocket has – purslane, watercress and nasturtium leaves.

Similar recipes include Quinoa Salad with Tomatoes, Parsley and Pinenuts, Rice, Wild Rice and Quinoa Salad, Quinoa Porridge with Tomatoes and Herb Oil, Cypriot Grain SaladQuinoa, Parsley and Lemon Salad, Fennel and Quinoa Salad with Broad Beans, and Sweet Pepper and Rice Salad.

You can browse all of our Quinoa dishes and all of our Rice recipes. The Ottlenghi dishes that we have made are here. Or explore all of our Early Winter dishes.

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Green Mango and Coconut Rice

Perfect for hot weather. Cooling and delicious.

It is easy to have a thing for green mangoes, whether they are the sour type, or just unripe sweet mangoes, or the sour-sweet type. Here, we love them a lot.  (If you love green mangoes, you probably also love ripe, sweet mangoes of any variety.)

When it is green mango season, the local large Asian supermarket stocks all sorts of green mangoes in large boxes, a dozen layers deep, by their front counter. It is difficult to leave the shop without any. But even when it is not prime season, they seem to have some, so we enjoy them pretty much all year round.

This recipe highlights the crispy tartness of the green mango, together with a punch of chilli and a hint of salt – the three flavours that go so well together. It is all combined with rice – slightly hot and salty with the sweetness of coconut, the slight bitter punch of the fenugreek, and toasted peanuts and crispy fried dal for a crunchy texture. What could be better?

This dish works well as a snack, side dish or rice salad. Rice made with green mangoes is popular in South India , with Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu all making it a little differently. This one is Tamil in style.

Similar recipes include Spicy Rice and Fermented Black Bean Salad, Coconut Rice and Peas Salad, Not Quite Fried Rice Salad, Kiribath – Sri Lankan Coconut Rice, Carrot Rice, Mango Rice, and Zucchini Rice.

Green Mango dishes include Mung Dal with Green Mango, and Spicy Green Mango in Coconut Milk.

Check our different Coconut Rice Recipes. Browse our Green Mango Recipes, and our Sweet Mango recipes also. Or if you are looking for Rice recipes, they are here. Try our Rice Salads. Our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials here. Or simply browse our easy Mid Spring recipes.

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Sweet Pepper and Rice Salad

I have had 2 revelations this week – firstly, how good rice salad is. It is a salad that my Mother made a lot in Summer but some how it has never ever made it onto my radar. Perhaps we ate too much of it as we grew up, perhaps hers never inspired me to make them myself (sorry Mum).

In this 42C (107F) heat, I made a rice salad on a whim, because all I had to do was turn on the rice cooker – no other hot steamy cooking steps required. And the salad was so good, we are now converted.

The other revelation is, how good idli rice is for both stir-fried rice, and for rice salads. Idli rice is the type of rice used in India for making idli, dosa and the like. It is rice with attitude – separate, independent grains, that retain some bite even after cooking (think al dente rice), and that have a bit of swag. Yeah. It is perfect for rice salad.

But any other medium to long grain rice will do – don’t use rice that is sticky when cooked. You are looking for separate grains.

Are you looking for more rice recipes? Try Coconut Rice and Peas Salad, Rice and Cauliflower Pilaf, Eggplant Pilaf, and Mung Sprouts Rice.

Or are you after some Capsicum recipes? Try How to Dry Capsicums, Pasta Sauce with Aubergine, Red Peppers and Tomato, and Roasted Red Pepper Salad. Elizabeth David has a couple of Red Pepper Salads.

Perhaps you are looking for other Salad Recipes. Try Rice, Wild Rice and Quinoa Salad, Pasta or Couscous Salads, A Quick Burghul Salad with Olives, Pomegranate and Hazelnuts, and Thai Lettuce Wraps. Our Mid-Summer Salads are here.

Or browse all of our Capsicum Recipes, all of our Rice Recipes, and all of our many stunning Salad recipes. Or take a while to explore our easy Mid Summer recipes.

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