Sunday, February 24, 2008

Black Bean Salad With Corn, Red Bells And Tomatoes

My family got tired of the usual bag lunch fare; so I had to do some quick thinking to find some alternatives to the regular sandwiches and so on. I sent this Black Bean Salad in the lunch one day and they loved it! Just popped some in a resealable plastic bag and included a spoon to eat it. No more peanut butter (we still love PB) or plain stuff for my family :)! 

Here is the simple recipe: make fresh cooked beans or get a can. I usually use 2 cups of beans and save half the beans and the broth for soup or Casamiento.

Note: Probably one can (at least 16 oz. I would think) might be equivalent to the yield from one cup of dry beans.


1 cup Black Beans
1 sprig each Oregano and Marjoram (or use 1/2 tsp of dry)
1 small Red Bell Pepper
1 cup Corn Kernels, defrosted
1/2 small Red Onion
1 large Roma or regular Tomato
1 Jalapeño chili (optional)
1 clove Garlic
Salt to taste
2 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil (optional)
1/2 Lemon or Lime
Freshly ground Black Pepper to taste
1/2 cup Fresh Cilantro


Sort the beans for unwanted materials like stones or discolored beans, etc. Wash thoroughly and soak in plenty of fresh water to cover with a couple of spoons of salt. Soak for a few hours or overnight.

Drain the water and rinse the beans well. 

Place in a large, heavy stock pot with fresh water to cover them and bring to a boil. Add the sprigs of marjoram and oregano.  

Simmer for about 45 minutes or until the beans are soft but not mushy. Remove and discard the herb sprigs. Remove the beans with a slotted spoon to a bowl. 

Mix with the corn kernels and the olive oil if using. Let cool before adding the rest of the ingredients. (Save the bean broth for soup.)

While the beans are cooking, prepare the veggies.

First peel and chop the onion finely; place in a bowl, add a pinch of salt and squeeze the lemon or lime and mix well. 

Peel and mince the garlic or just crush slightly and leave whole for a milder flavor. Add to the onions in the bowl. 

Cut off the stem of Jalapeno if using, deseed and mince finely. 

Cut the bell pepper in half, remove stem, seeds and pale colored membranes and dice. 

Wash tomato and dice. 

Hold the cilantro in a bunch and twist or cut off about an inch of the stems just to remove the brown ends. Sort and wash the cilantro well and chop finely. 

Combine all the vegetables and herbs with the cool beans along with the seasonings; hold the salt as there is some in the beans. Let the salad marinate for 15 minutes for the flavors to develop. 

Taste to see if more lemon or lime juice or salt is needed. Chill until time to serve. 

Allow the salad to come to room temperature and serve cool. 


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