Southwestern Rice Salad Sandwich Filling

By • October 4, 2011 • 27 Comments



Author Notes: A few days ago, we prepared an Asian multi-rice and adzuki bean salad, and today talked about how to take some different rices with different textures and flavors and give them a southwestern profile. We added another layer of flavor to it by binding it with a variation on ChefHef's ranchero sauce posted here: http://www.food52.com/recipes/13545_poblanos_stuffed_with_goat_cheese_and_greens
We added some peanuts to the purée because of a lovely question posted by Burnt Offerings a while ago that never really left my thoughts: http://www.food52.com/foodpickle/6807-ranchero-sauce-with-peanuts
We used the sauce to bind the salad. We stuffed it into lapadia's purely perfect Pita Bread for a fantastic multi-cultural sandwich: http://www.food52.com/recipes/5053_pita_bread

The filling would also be excellent inside a burrito, either left alone in its vegetarian goodness, or with roast chicken added. Be sure to warm up some of the amazing Ranchero sauce to go over the top. Add some diced tomatoes, some avocado . . . .

P.S. It's a wonderful way to use up leftover rice!

In one of the photos, everyone is saying "PITA BREAD!" The other is of the actual stuffed pitas.

Montana Culinary Students

Makes 6 sandwiches with leftover filling for another day

  • 1 1/2 cup cooked long-grain white rice
  • 1 1/2 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1/2 cup cooked wild rice
  • 1 13 ounce jar of roasted red or yellow peppers, drained and diced
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, minced
  • 1 bunch green onions, trimmed to 6", grilled, then diced
  • Zest and juice of 2 limes
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 ounces sunflower, or other neutral oil
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • Sea or kosher salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 batch ChefHef's Ranchero Sauce, link above
  • 1 batch lapadia's Pita Bread, link above
  • 6 leaves of colorful lettuce
  1. Place all ingredients except the Ranchero Sauce and (obviously) pita breads in a large mixing bowl. Toss to blend.
  2. Add enough of the Ranchero Sauce to bind the filling without being drippy. Save the remainder and begin imagining everything you want to use it for and with.
  3. When the pita breads have cooled, cut them in half across the middle and gently widen the pocket with your fingers. Tuck a lettuce leaf in along one side, then use a spoon to fill the pocket, packing the filling in firmly. Repeat until all pita halves have been filled.
  4. We served the sandwiches along with a pot of spicy black bean chili. They would feed a crowd well, and would hold up well on a buffet. Or a tailgate.
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Tags: brown rice, links above, ranchero sauce, rice, Southwestern, wild rice

Comments (27) Questions (0)

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Burnt_offering

almost 3 years ago Burnt Offerings

Oh - boulangere! Thank you SO much for your message or I might have well missed this! I am so flattered and so excited that your students pursued this. I have made ChefHef's sauce in the meantime, and I intend to tweak it some more to try and approximate the sauce I so enjoyed this summer. With any luck, I'll be home again at Xmas and may try and talk the chef at the little Tex-Mex place into sharing his recipe.

I love this adaptation and can't wait to make this! You made my day - thanks!

Dscn2212

almost 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Wow, I hope you will post the recipe if you can talk him out of it because it just sounds so intriguing! Seriously, your original post stayed with me for months because the flavors and textures sounded wonderful. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

3-bizcard

almost 3 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

These look so good and lapadia I have to try your pita it looks amazing. boulangere your students are culinary superstars, how proud you must be. Love this recipe!

Dscn2212

almost 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Lapadia's recipe for pita breads is the bomb! I used Bernard Clayton's recipe for years and years, and hers is much better. It holds together, doesn't tear, and once we mastered the technique, the puff is perfect. This is the best class yet, and thank you for your kind words.

Dscn2212

almost 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Thank you all. This was a true food52 synthesis.

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almost 3 years ago drymeat

The meal was deliciouse by far. The Peta pocket I had resembled a face in my hand but is a light fullfilling bread.

Dscn2212

almost 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

So glad it was a new experience for you and that you enjoyed it so much.

Buddhacat

almost 3 years ago SKK

Great recipe! Great headnotes!

Dscn2212

almost 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Thank you, SKK!

Massimo's_deck_reflection_10_27_13

almost 3 years ago lapadia

Cheers to all...may today's success be only one of many, job well done!!!

Dscn2212

almost 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Such kind words, thank you lapadia. Where would we be without your Pita Bread!

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almost 3 years ago meatball

thank you:) that rice salad was to die for. so much flavor, and healthy!!

Dscn2212

almost 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

It was high on the scale great healthful properties, as well as great flavors. Great job, all of you.

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almost 3 years ago sospled

Thank you all for the wonderful messages and the encouragement

Dscn2212

almost 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Well deserved.

Cook_pic

almost 3 years ago growinggourmand

The presentation was so fun to put together. There is just nothing quite like the sweet and spicy flavour of southwestern foods. It paired really well with out tasty pitas/ Wonderful blend of Flavours and colors and it was so filling too! mmmmm!

Dscn2212

almost 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Southwestern yin and yang.

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almost 3 years ago sospled

The pitas were great. A fun adventure to try this delicious filling.

Dscn2212

almost 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Wasn't it interesting how much better everyone's technique was the second time we made them?

Massimo's_deck_reflection_10_27_13

almost 3 years ago lapadia

This sounds AMAZING, and oh, how fun and lucky you are to be in boulangere's class. I am truly touched that my Pita was part of your class :) and definitely inspired to try this sandwich filling, soon!! Beautiful photo too!

Dscn2212

almost 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

lapadia, your pitas were so incredibly perfect! A great lesson for us all, and thank you.

Gator_cake

almost 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

This sounds fabulous! Congrats on your first group recipe entry.

Dscn2212

almost 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Thank you so much, hla. Delicious, too!

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almost 3 years ago Montana Culinary Students

lapadia's Pita Breads hold up amazingly. No tearing while filling or eating. And ChefHef's Ranchero sauce is seriously almost to die for.

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almost 3 years ago Montana Culinary Students

Almost!

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almost 3 years ago susan g

Too bad I'm too far to stop in and taste -- sounds very good.

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almost 3 years ago Montana Culinary Students

Any time you're in the neighborhood . . . .