Southwestern Rice Salad Sandwich Filling

October  4, 2011
0 Ratings
  • Makes 6 sandwiches with leftover filling for another day
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:
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:
We used the sauce to bind the salad. We stuffed it into lapadia's purely perfect Pita Bread for a fantastic multi-cultural sandwich:

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

What You'll Need
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked long-grain white rice
  • 1 1/2 cups 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.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Burnt Offerings
    Burnt Offerings
  • boulangere
  • SKK
  • lapadia
  • growinggourmand

25 Reviews

Burnt O. October 9, 2011
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!
boulangere October 9, 2011
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!
boulangere October 5, 2011
Thank you all. This was a true food52 synthesis.
drymeat October 5, 2011
The meal was deliciouse by far. The Peta pocket I had resembled a face in my hand but is a light fullfilling bread.
boulangere October 9, 2011
So glad it was a new experience for you and that you enjoyed it so much.
SKK October 5, 2011
Great recipe! Great headnotes!
boulangere October 5, 2011
Thank you, SKK!
lapadia October 5, 2011
Cheers to all...may today's success be only one of many, job well done!!!
boulangere October 5, 2011
Such kind words, thank you lapadia. Where would we be without your Pita Bread!
meatball October 5, 2011
thank you:) that rice salad was to die for. so much flavor, and healthy!!

boulangere October 9, 2011
It was high on the scale great healthful properties, as well as great flavors. Great job, all of you.
sospled October 5, 2011
Thank you all for the wonderful messages and the encouragement
boulangere October 9, 2011
Well deserved.
growinggourmand October 5, 2011
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!
boulangere October 9, 2011
Southwestern yin and yang.
sospled October 5, 2011
The pitas were great. A fun adventure to try this delicious filling.
boulangere October 9, 2011
Wasn't it interesting how much better everyone's technique was the second time we made them?
lapadia October 4, 2011
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!
boulangere October 4, 2011
lapadia, your pitas were so incredibly perfect! A great lesson for us all, and thank you.
hardlikearmour October 4, 2011
This sounds fabulous! Congrats on your first group recipe entry.
boulangere October 4, 2011
Thank you so much, hla. Delicious, too!
Montana C. October 4, 2011
lapadia's Pita Breads hold up amazingly. No tearing while filling or eating. And ChefHef's Ranchero sauce is seriously almost to die for.
Montana C. October 4, 2011
susan G. October 4, 2011
Too bad I'm too far to stop in and taste -- sounds very good.
Montana C. October 4, 2011
Any time you're in the neighborhood . . . .