Tuesday, October 23, 2018

J.W. Jackson’s Black Bean and Rice Salad

I am an avid mystery reader, mysteries and crime novels…and cookbooks…and gardening books…and decorating books. OK, you get it. I like to read. I do. I find a lot of inspiration in books, particularly when it comes to cooking. You might be surprised to learn that a lot of that inspiration comes from the mysteries that I read. 

I don’t know what it is about me, but I tend to discover authors long after they have passed away. I hate that because there are some series of books that I have loved so much that I have felt inspired to write the authors to thank them. Anne George is on that list with her Southern Sisters mysteries, Virginia Rich and her breaking-the-mold Eugenia Potter culinary mysteries are on that list, and now, Philip R. Craig is joining them. I don’t know why it took me so long to discover the J.W. Jackson mysteries, but I absolutely love them. J.W. is an ex-Boston cop who left the force in his mid-30s after a gunshot injury. He lives on and tends acreage in Martha’s Vineyard, grows his own vegetables, fishes for his own food, and cooks! Who wouldn’t love a guy like that? To make things even better, there are recipes for some of the dishes at the end of each novel. Because, in their day, this became so popular, author Craig came out with a cookbook entitled Delish! a phrase J.W. uses often in the books to describe his delicious cooking.

There are a number of seafood recipes that I plan to try and share with you, but J.W.’s Black Bean and Rice Salad struck a chord with me today, so I decided to make it, adding in (as he said I could) my own addition in the form of one of my new favorite things to eat, hearts of palm. I absolutely loved the results, and found that rather than using this as a side dish, it makes an excellent meal all on its own. I imagine the addition of cooked chicken would make it all the better if you plan to serve it as a cold evening meal.
 This salad is mentioned in chapter 3 of the 9th (of 21) book in the series, A Shoot on Martha’s Vineyard:

“We went down to eat. Grilled bluefish, fresh homemade bread, rice and bean salad, and the house Sauvignon Blanc. Delish!”

He’s right, it is delish, as well as colorful, nutritional, and good, and I don’t know what beats that. Oh, it’s also make ahead, and keeps 1 to 2 days in the fridge.
J.W. Jackson’s Black Bean and Rice Salad
Slightly modified by yours truly

2-3 15-oz. cans of black beans, rinsed and drained
1 pound bag frozen corn kernels, cooked (or 1 15-oz. can)
2 cups long-grain rice, cooked
1 large bell pepper, red or green, diced
½ cup red onion, chopped
1 14.8 oz. jar Melissa’s Hearts of Palm, sliced into coins
1 teaspoon salt
Dash of
Your favorite vinaigrette salad dressing, to taste

Optional ingredients: shredded cheddar cheese or feta cheese, sliced black olives, marinated artichoke hearts, chopped cilantro, oregano, chili powder, cumin

Mix and serve. It’s very good with rice pilaf, wild rice, or basmati rice.

Another “delish” way to enjoy black beans is in this Time-Out Back Bean Dip.

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Stacey said...

Sounds delicious and I know my husband would love it! Thanks!

Linda said...

Hi Patty, love your post. I have a new blog party and would like to invite you to come join us on the CLASSY FLAMINGOS BLOG PARTY held each Tuesday evening thru Friday. You'll get large picture exposure and shout outs. You may get PINKED and you'll get even more exposure! I hope you'll come by. poinsettiadr.com

Miz Helen said...

I love the combination for this delicious salad! Thanks so much for sharing with us at Full Plate Thursday. Hope you have a great weekend and come back soon!
Miz Helen

Anonymous said...

Patty, I love that you got the recipe from a mystery novel. I love to read and I'm always reading a book. I just jotted down the authors you mentioned and put them on my to-read list. This salad sounds SO good too! I think a salad with rice sounds so interesting. Thanks so much for linking up at the Whimsical Wednesdays Link Party!