Start this bean salad early, refrigerate, then finish later

The Washington PostJuly 31, 2013 

THE WASHINGTON POST

This salad combines chewy, slightly nutty red rice with crisp green beans (preferably thin haricots verts) in a dressing made creamy by almond butter. It can be eaten hot, cold or in between.

The red rice can be cooked and refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months. The green beans can be cooked and refrigerated a day in advance. The salad without the almonds, parsley and pepper can be assembled and refrigerated a few hours in advance.

GREEN BEAN, RED RICE AND ALMOND SALAD

6 servings

1 cup uncooked red rice (may substitute brown rice)

1 1/4 cups water

2 pounds haricot verts or thin green beans, trimmed

3 tablespoons all-natural unsweetened almond butter

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon cider vinegar

1 teaspoon fine sea salt

2/3 cup almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped

1 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Freshly ground black pepper

Toast the nuts in a small, dry skillet over medium-low heat, until fragrant and lightly browned, shaking the skillet to avoid scorching. Cool completely before using.

Combine the red rice and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, lower the heat until the liquid is barely bubbling, cover and cook for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and let the rice rest, covered, for 5 minutes, then uncover and fluff with a fork.

Depending on whether your salad will be served warm or cold, partially cover the rice to keep it warm; let the rice come to room temperature; or cool, then refrigerate.

Meanwhile, set up a steamer over a separate saucepan of water on medium heat. Steam the green beans, tightly covered, until just cooked through but not limp, 7 to 8 minutes. Cool if desired.

Whisk together the almond butter, oil, lemon juice, vinegar and salt in a large salad bowl.

Add the cooked beans, turning them gently in the dressing to coat. Stir in the rice. Taste, and adjust the seasoning. Add the chopped almonds and parsley, then season with pepper to taste; toss to incorporate.

Serve warm, at room temperature or cold.

Nutrition per serving: 360 calories, 10 g protein, 41 g carbohydrates, 20 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 380 mg sodium, 9 g dietary fiber, 3 g sugar

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