Moroccan Spiced Salad

This is a wonderfully unusual salad. It’s a blend of savory spices, crunchy nuts, chewy raisins, rice, and beans with a hint of lemon and mint. The blend of rice, beans, and nuts makes it appropriate for a vegetarian main dish and it makes a great side with roasted chicken for the carnivores among us. Kudos go to my friend, Charmaine, who shared this recipe with me after bringing it to our Dining for Women group. I made a few adaptations but the spice blend remained the same as the original recipe.

2 T. olive oil
1 C. rice
3 1/2 C. water

4 T. olive oil
6 T. vinegar
2 T. lemon juice
2 T. honey
2 t. garam masala (a blend of spices)
2 t. ground coriander
1 t. dry mustard

1 – 15 oz. can small red beans (or kidney)
1 – 15 oz. can cannellini beans (or garbanzo)
4 shallots, chopped
8 green onions, trimmed and sliced
1 1/2 C. golden raisins
1 1/2 C. walnuts, coarsely chopped (or pine nuts)
1 T. chopped fresh mint

Chopped fresh mint to garnish
Lemon wedges, to serve

1. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a medium sauce pan with a lid. Add the rice and cook for 3 minutes, stirring, over low heat. Pour in the water and bring to a boil, then lower heat, cover, and simmer on low for 25-35 minutes until water is absorbed. Remove from heat and pour the cooked rice into a strainer. Rinse under cold running water, drain well, and set aside to cool.
2. In a large bowl, mix together 4 tablespoons of olive oil and honey until emulsified. Mix in the vinegar, lemon juice, garam masala, coriander, and dry mustard and stir well.
3. Add the rice and mix well.
4. Drain and rinse both cans of beans and add them to the rice along with the shallots, green onions, walnuts, golden raisins, and mint. Mix well. Garnish with fresh mint and serve with lemon wedges. Serves 8

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