Insalata di Arance [Orange Salad]

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Caprese Rice with Cannellini Beans

Active cooking time: 25 minutes
Total cooking time: 40 minutes
Serves baby and 2 adults 

Before Cai was born, we cooked with canned beans and ate them much less often. Now we avoid the sodium and preservatives - I've started cooking with soaked dry beans and am amazed at the freshness, the flavor and the resemblance to the fagioli [bean] dishes we’ve had in Italy. This recipe was also inspired by those carefree travellin’ days, when we swooned over buffalo mozzarella and its classic buddies – fresh basil and tomato. Prepare this dish and then set aside half the rice and beans for baby, while the adults dine 'alla Toscana'.

For the rice:
2 cups of brown rice, cooked [season adult rice with salt and pepper]
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar [optional]
1 large tomato [approx. 200 gm chopped tomato]
140 gm buffalo mozzarella, chopped or shredded*
30 gm chopped basil*
Sea salt

For the beans: 
500 gm cannellini or white beans soaked overnight
Leaves from 3-4 sprigs of fresh thyme
Extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt


For baby: Set aside half the rice and beans, and puree if necessary. This should be served with a cooked vegetable - broccoli complements the dish well, as does tomato and fennel.

For adults:It doesn’t get any simpler then this. Add the mozzarella, tomato and basil to the rice. Dress with olive oil and balsamic if desired [I sometimes find the balsamic overwhelms the other flavors, and prefer to leave it out]. Toss and add sea salt and ground pepper before serving.  
Add thyme leaves to cooked beans [beans will be amazing if still warm from cooking]. Dress with olive oil and sea salt.
The two dishes may be mixed together or served separately as shown in the photo on this page. Bon Apetito! 

*Instead of the mozzarella and basil, try this dish with feta cheese and fresh coriander.

1 comment:

GingerSpice said...

Yum! I can't wait to get home and try this...