Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Clotilde’s Rice and Beans

I honestly can't say what it is, I have other recipes quite similar to this, but something about this is just oh-so good, I can't get enough! (Although it’s not photogenic for anything!)

-240 ml (1 cup) mixed dried beans and legumes
- 240 ml (1 cup) brown rice
- a 3-cm (1-inch) piece of dehydrated kombu seaweed (see note below)
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 rounded teaspoon strong mustard
- Tabasco sauce
- 2 tablespoons good oil, such as olive or sesame
- a small bunch chervil or flat-leaf parsley or cilantro, roughly chopped
- sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- mixed greens for serving

Makes 4 to 5 servings.

Soak the beans in a large bowl of cold water for 12 hours, or up to a day.

A little while before cooking, soak the rice: rinse in fresh water, drain well, and put in a medium saucepan. Add the volume of water recommended on the package -- mine says to use double the volume of water, but I use a little less (1 4/5 cups rather than 2 cups) because I like the texture better that way -- and let the rice soak in the water for 20 minutes to 1 hour.

Rinse the soaked beans in fresh water and put them in another medium saucepan with the kombu. Cover with cold water (no salt) by about 2 cm (1 inch), cover, and bring to a simmer. As the water comes to a simmer, a white foam will collect at the surface; skim and discard it.

Cook the beans at a low simmer for 1 hour, or until the beans are just cooked through: you want them to retain their shape, and not turn to mush. Drain, remove the seaweed, and let cool slightly.

While the beans are cooking, get the rice started. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt to the pan, cover, bring to a simmer, then lower the heat and cook at a low simmer, without disturbing, until all the water is absorbed -- this will take anywhere from 12 to 40 minutes, depending on your particular type of rice. Remove from the heat and let rest for 10 minutes, then uncover and let cool slightly.

In a large salad bowl, combine the vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and Tabasco sauce and pepper to taste. Add the oil slowly, stirring to blend and form an emulsion.

Add the beans and fold them in gently with a spatula; you want to coat them with the dressing without mushing. Fluff the rice with a fork (to separate the grains) and add it in along with the herbs -- again, using a gentle hand. Taste, correct the seasoning and (probably more important) the acidity of the dressing, and serve in shallow bowls, on a bed of mixed greens.

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