Look at all the colors in this salad. A bean party in a bowl.
It’s a healthy and happy salad. It’s good for you and tastes awesome!
This salad is full of flavors that pop right out at you. As a bonus, it tastes even better the next day.
I looked up a bunch of black bean salad recipes and took bits and pieces from different ones. Most can agree on black beans, corn, peppers, and parsley or cilantro. I cut WAY back on the oil to try to make it a bit healthier.
Here’s what you need:
Black Beans, Corn, Red Bell Peppers, Avacados (optional), Garlic, Shallot, Cilantro, Limes, Olive Oil, Cayenne Pepper, Cumin (not pictured), Salt & Pepper.
You can use canned black beans BUT if you have time, cook your own beans and save a bunch of money. A bag of black beans is $1.40 at my store. It makes about 6 cups of beans so I used 4 cups for this salad and put the other 2 cups in a bag in the freezer for future burritos.
I even remembered to soak my beans the night before. I don’t always do this but I think this recipe has converted me into a bean soaker. Soaking the beans not only cuts down on the cooking time, but also keeps the beans from falling apart. Simply put the beans in a pot, cover them with water, and let them sit overnight.
The next day, drain the water off the beans and refill the pot with 6 cups of fresh water. Bring the beans to a boil, then turn the heat down to low and simmer gently for 1 – 1 1/2 hours or until the beans are very tender but not falling apart.
If you are making something like burritos, you can use the beans as is. However, for this salad (and for freezing) drain and rinse the beans.
Fresh corn is best if you can find it in season. If not, frozen would be your next best option. If you have fresh corn, cut the kernels off the cob and then zap them for 1 minute in the microwave.
Hint – to keep the kernels from flying all over your kitchen, cut them inside a big mixing bowl.
Chop up 2 red bell peppers.
Finely chop 1 medium shallot. If you don’t have a shallot, about 1/4 cup of red onion would also do the trick.
Finely chop 2 – 3 cloves of garlic.
Put the corn, bell peppers, shallot, and garlic in a large bowl. Grate the zest from 1 lime into the vegetables.
Remember to just take off the outer green layer and not the white layer underneath as it is quite bitter.
Chop up a bunch of cilantro – about 1/2 cup. If you are a cilantro hater, use parsley instead.
Add 4 cups of drained and rinsed black beans to the bowl.
Squeeze 1/4 cup of fresh lime juice. This will probably be 2 or 3 limes worth of juice.
Add the lime juice and 1/4 cup of olive oil to the bowl.
Season with salt, pepper, and a dash of cayenne. You could also add a dash of cumin for a southwest, smokey flavor.
Mix the salad together, taste, and adjust the seasonings. If you’ve cooked your own beans, you might need a bit more salt than you will need for canned beans.
If you have ripe avocados, cube them and add them just before serving so they don’t turn brown. I decided to omit the avocados because I wanted to have the salad over several days last week.
This salad can be served cold or at room temperature. It goes great with grilled chicken, but I ate most of it by itself for lunch. I even managed to get a small container of it through the TSA screening last week and had the best lunch of anyone in the Tampa airport.
I realize that this seems sort of like a summer recipe but I have to say that even when I lived in the frozen north, it was so refreshing to have big, flavorful salads in the middle of winter. Most of these ingredients are available all year round. Put a little zest and zing in your February!
Here’s the recipe: