Happy Monday, everyone! We had a really fantastic weekend, starting with a muddy bike ride friday afternoon in the rain. Halfway up the hill, I could feel my grumpiness building due to the rain and cold and mud. So to avoid impending mood-disaster, we decided to quit halfway through and go home, where we found a hot shower, made a quick and super tasty three-bean chili, and built a fire. The rest of the night was spent cuddled up on the couch watching Thank You for Smoking.
Have you ever watched Thank You for Smoking? I wasn’t really quite sure what to expect, and I’m not really quite sure what I think of it now. I understand it was mostly just a character study of the main character (and those like him), but I found it a bit lifeless due to the lack of plot. Anybody have any other opinions?
Anyhow, on Saturday we wandered around the local Farmer’s market, where I found the ingredients for this salad. Then I hiked the local Madonna mountain (it’s really just a hill) with Dedas and a good friend I haven’t seen in a while, and worked on this little blog here for a bit.
Sunday took us to the top of the grade on our mountain bikes, and I can’t remember a day more beautiful than yesterday. The air was crystal clear, and we could see all the way from the rock at Morro Bay to the dunes in Oceano. It was incredible.
So this salad? Very simple, entirely tasty. You’ll have to cook the rice ahead of time, which isn’t too big of a deal. If you don’t get around to cooking it earlier, just spread the warm cooked rice out on a baking sheet and throw it in the freezer for 10-15 minutes. Bam, cooled rice.
The vinaigrette is very good also. I actually think it’s my favorite dressing I’ve made or had in a while. It’s also very simple. The hardest part is getting the honey to dissolve and not stick to the spoon.
Dedas also decided she liked very much the pea shells. She played with it a bit, nommed on it a bit, gobbled it down, and begged for more. The whole time I was shelling them. I may have given her one more. Or ten.
Back to the salad. It’s fresh, spring-y, crunchy, and filling. What more is there to say?
Black Rice & Pea Salad with Red Wine Vinaigrette
A fresh spring salad and red wine vinaigrette recipe with black rice, English shelling peas, radishes, carrots, and spicy lettuce. A perfect weeknight meal.
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 20 mins
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 3 as a meal, 4-5 as a side
- Category: Dinner
For the Salad:
- 1 cup uncooked black rice (see note)
- 1 cup shelled English Shelling peas (about 3-4 handfuls whole peas)
- 2 oz (about 4 whole) radishes, sliced thinly
- 2 medium carrots, shaved
- 4-5 cups lightly packed salad greens
For the Red Wine Vinaigrette:
- 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
- 4 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 tsp lime jiuce
- 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
- 1 tsp honey
- 1 Tbsp minced shallot
- Cook the rice according to package directions. Cool completely.
- Place the salad greens in a large bowl, top with the rice, then the carrots, radishes, and peas.
- Combine all the dressing ingredients in a measuring cup. Stir well with a spoon until the honey is dissolved. Pour over the salad (you may have a bit left over) and serve.
If you do not have time to cook the rice and let it cool on it’s own, it is okay to spread the warm rice on a baking sheet and freeze it for 10-15 minutes before serving.