August 21, 2013

A Summer Salad of Black Beans and Peppers

This salad has become a summer treat for me, which I make when the peppers in my garden have ripened; it's another great recipe from Deborah Madison's The Greens Cookbook. It's a delicious combination of chewy beans and crisp vegetables, flavored with mint and cumin, cilantro and jalapeno. The list of ingredients looks long, but it's quite easy to prepare. I've been having it for lunch all week, along with some avocado (not from my garden) and tomatoes, and I look forward to this meal all morning.

1 1/4 cup black beans
1 bay leaf
1/2 teas dried thyme
1/2 teas oregano
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 teas salt
Vinaigrette with cumin and mint (below)
1/2 cup each red, yellow, and green pepper, seeded and cut into small squares (I use only red)
1 small red onion, cut into small squares
1 stalk celery, cut into small squares (I don't grow celery, so leave this out)
cilantro for garnish

Soak beans overnight; next day, drain, cover with plenty of fresh water and add herbs and onion. Bring to a boil and add salt. Simmer until beans are tender but not mushy (about 45 minutes-1 hour). Drain.
Prepare vinaigrette and add to beans while still warm. Add vegetables, correct salt and seasoning if desired.

1 Tbs lemon or orange juice
1 teas lemon or orange peel, grated
1 Tbs sherry vinegar
1/2 teas salt
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1/2 teas cumin
1/2 teas coriander
1/4 teas paprika
5 or 6 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs mint leaves, chopped
1 Tbs cilantro, chopped   (I use more mint and cilantro....why not?)
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely diced. (this is to taste and is optional, but I love the heat in this salad)

Whisk the oil into the preceding ingredients, then add the fresh herbs.
I should note that Madison calls for cumin seeds and coriander seeds, ground in a spice mill or mortar; I'm sure this is more flavorful, but I'm lazy so use the ground spices.


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