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Black Rice Salad with Roasted Beets, Montrachet & Pistachios

Black Rice Salad with Roasted Beets and Montrachet/Chevre Cheese
Serves 4

Note: I wrote this recipe as though the reader plans to enjoy the salad over the course of several days. Obviously, if you are planning on dining with friends and family, all of the assembly is done at once, separating any leftovers as directed…if you’re lucky enough to have leftovers, that is!

Ingredients:
1 cup black rice, cooked according to package directions and set aside – $3.99
1 medium Vidalia or sweet onion, diced – $0.76
½ lb. Baby Bella or other wild mushrooms, chopped – $1.99
2 cloves garlic, minced – stock
1 or 2 Tablespoons olive oil – stock
a splash of cooking sherry or wine – stock
4 cooked beets, quartered – $1.49
1/3 cup currants – stock
3 scallions, diced, including green part – $0.99
4 oz. Montrachet/Chevre cheese, cut into 4 discs – $3.99
1/3 cup nuts, chopped (walnuts, pecans, cashews, pistachios…whatever is on hand) – stock
your favorite vinaigrette – stock
mixed greens, if desired
Grand Total Assuming a Well-Stocked Pantry: $13.21
Total Per Serving: $3.30

Directions:
1. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high flame. Sauté the onions and mushrooms together, stirring frequently, until golden and beginning to caramelize.

2. Stir in the garlic and splash of cooking sherry/wine and continue cooking until the sherry has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a small-medium bowl.

3. Meanwhile, prepare the remaining vegetables, nuts, and cheese as directed above. Transfer each to separate containers if preparing ahead.

4. Assembly: To serve to a group, in a medium bowl, combine the rice with the mushroom mixture, scallions, and currants. Lightly toss with your favorite vinaigrette.

5. Divide the quartered beets between the 4 plates, arranging in a decorative manner. Top the crown of the salad or the beet pieces with the cheese disc and garnish with chopped nuts. Serve at room temperature. (Remember to serve on a bed of greens if this is the main event!)