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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

My Wild Rice and White Bean Salad

Planning home cooked meals here in Hanoi, Vietnam can be challenging. I have leftover wild rice from last night and am thinking of making a wild rice salad. I go to the gym in Tay Ho  which is an area with a high population of ex-patriots and many of the stores (grocery and otherwise) cater to this clientele . So today I am looking for lemons/limes, green onion, cucumber, carrots & lettuce. The availability of thing in Hanoi is kind of hit or miss, either everyone has it and is selling it at every stall and shop  or you cannot find something and have to substitute. So I am playing it kind of fast and loose on this recipe. I could not find lemons or carrots at the 1st grocery store I went to in Tay Ho and when I tried to stop at another shop in a cab with my purchases thus far, the police were on the street so the cab could not wait for me to shop. I decided to just head back home vs. loosing the cab since it was getting close to rush hour (which is a mess as normal car traffic stays at a steady 30-40 mph and rush hour brings this down to 25 mph).  I ended up finding a woman selling limes as I was walking down my street from where the cab dropped me off…yea! Then I tried to do without the carrots but ended up going back out and picking some up at the last minute as I really wanted the pop of orange and sweetness of the carrots to counteract the vinegar in the salad. So here is my recipe for Wild Rice and White Bean Salad…off the cuff! I have already sampled several bites and it is yummy! Let’s see if Stephane my other half likes it too…
Salad Ingredients:
3 cups leftover wild rice pilaf (or wild rice cooked in chicken or vegetable stock)
1 can butter beans (or any other white bean you have on hand), drained and rinsed
2 small cucumbers (or 1 large), peeled, sliced and quartered
1 good size carrot, shredded (would probably be nice julienned)
2 spring onion sliced thin (include green part)
Zest and juice of 1 lime
3 T white wine vinegar
3 T olive oil
1T dried tarragon (fresh would be great if you have it!)
1T dried parsley (again fresh if you have it)
1/2 tsp. whole grain mustard
1/4 tsp. mustard powder
1 shallot, diced
2 cloves garlic (smashed through salt)
1/2 tsp. sea salt (more or less to taste)
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Make dressing first so that the herbs sit in vinegar as long as possible. Combine all dressing ingredients in a small bottle, I used a recycled jelly bottle and shake. While this is sitting prep your salad ingredients and combine in bowl. Toss salad stuff add dressing and toss again. Let sit in refrigerator for 1-2 hours and you are good to go. Enjoy!

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