Southwestern Rice & Pinto Bean Salad

  • Serves: 6 servings, 1 1/3 cups each

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
    Cooking Time: 40 minutes


The slightly chewy texture of ruddy-red Wehani rice makes it perfect for salads. Serve it mounded on a bed of Boston lettuce or curly frisée.


1 cup Wehani brown rice (see Cooking Tips) or brown basmati rice
2-2 1/2 cups water
2 teaspoons cumin seeds or 1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried
1 large clove garlic, crushed and peeled
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 15-ounce cans pinto beans, rinsed
8 scallions, trimmed and sliced (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 medium bell pepper (green, yellow, orange or red), chopped (about 1 cup)

Cooking Instructions

Combine rice and water (2 cups water if using brown basmati) in a 3-quart saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook until all the water has been absorbed, 40 to 45 minutes. Remove from heat; let rest, covered, for 10 minutes. Spread the rice out on a large baking sheet until cooled to room temperature, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, toast cumin in a small skillet over medium-high heat until fragrant and lightly toasted, 1 to 2 minutes for seeds, 1 minute for ground cumin. Transfer to a blender or food processor and let cool for several minutes. Add oil, vinegar, oregano, garlic, salt and pepper and process until the garlic is finely chopped.

Transfer the rice to a large bowl and toss with beans, scallions and bell pepper. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss well to combine.

Cook's Tip

Wehani rice, an aromatic brown rice related to basmati, has a sweet, nutty flavor, a light reddish color, and splits like wild rice when cooked. It can be found in the health-foods section of large supermarkets or at natural-foods stores.

To Make Ahead: Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

Nutritional Analysis
Per serving
Calories Per Serving
Total Fat
11 g
Saturated Fat
2 g
Monounsaturated Fat
8 g
121 mg
45 g
8 g
9 g
442 mg

Dietary Exchanges

2 1/2 starch, 1 vegetable, 1 very lean meat, 1 1/2 fat

© 2012 Eating Well Inc. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission.