Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Recipe Favorites: Black Bean and Pepper Salad with Cilantro and Lime

Black Bean and Pepper SaladRecipe Favorites are the recipes I like so much I'd make them over and over when I want some of my favorite flavors. Of course lots of you know that cilantro is pretty much my favorite herb in any dish (although this summer I'm pretty infatuated with tarragon!) Besides the cilantro, in this salad I also really like the flavor of black beans, especially with the spicy lime, cumin, and chile dressing. To me, everything about this combination of ingredients seems like it was meant to be together.

I think canned beans can really be good in a salad like this, but of course, soaked and freshly-cooked dried beans will be even better. What really bumps up the flavor here is the step of marinating the beans in dressing for about an hour before you mix in the pepper, onion and cilantro. Don't skip that step if you can help it, and if you're one of those cilantro haters, we will allow you to use parsley or oregano.

Black Bean and Pepper Salad with Cilantro and Lime
(4 servings but could easily be doubled, recipe created by Kalyn with inspiration from a blog that no longer exists)

1 can black beans, rinsed well and drained (about 1 1/2 cups cooked beans)
1 red pepper, chopped
1 yellow pepper, chopped
(could use any combination of colors for the pepper, or use 2 red peppers)
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 bunch cilantro, chopped

Dressing Ingredients:
2 T lime juice (fresh lime juice recommended)
2 T extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp. ground Chipotle pepper (I use Penzeys)
(you could use Green Tabasco in place of the Chipotle pepper)
1/2 tsp. mild chile powder (New Mexico chile powder is best)
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. onion powder
zest of one lime (optional, but recommended)
Vege-sal or salt to taste
fresh ground pepper to taste

Put black beans in a colander placed in the sink and rinse with cold water until no more foam appears. Let beans drain, preferably 30 minutes or so, until beans are no longer wet. (If you're rushed for time, you could blot them dry with paper towels.)

Mix dressing ingredients. Put beans and dressing into a plastic bowl with a snap-on lid, put lid on, and turn bowl over a few times until the beans are well coated with the dressing. Let the beans marinate in the dressing for an hour or so if you have time, or at least while you chop the other ingredients.

Chop peppers and onion into pieces about 1/2 inch square. (I was aiming for the beans, peppers, and onions to be approximately the same size.) Wash cilantro, dry well then chop coarsely (I used a salad spinner.)

In large bowl, gently combine beans, peppers, and onion. (If mixture seems dry you can add a tiny bit more olive oil and lime juice at this point.) Season to taste with Vege-sal or salt and fresh ground pepper. Stir in cilantro and serve.

This will keep for a day or two in the refrigerator, although it's best when the cilantro is still crisp.

Printer Friendly Recipe

South Beach Suggestions:
I'd actually been eating the South Beach Diet way for about a year before I realized that beans like this are allowed for phase one, so I would probably eat this for phase two or three. This would taste great with Grilled Halibut with Garlic Cilantro Sauce.

Some Bean Salads I've Loved:
Black Bean, Rice, and Cilantro Salad
White Bean Salad with Tuna and Parsley
Carrot, Parsley, and Garbanzo (Chickpea) Salad with Cumin
Shrimp and Black Bean Salad with Cilantro, Cumin, and Lime
Garbanzo Salad with Olives and Herbs

More Bean Salads I'd Love to Try:
(Recipes from other blogs may not always be South Beach Diet friendly, check ingredients.)
Portugese Sardines and Bean Salad from Beyond Salmon
Bean Salad with Grilled Bell Peppers, Tomato, and Onion from Lucullian Delights
Antalya Bean Salad from Almost Turkish Recipes
Fresh Three Bean Salad from A Veggie Venture
Three Bean Salad with Sundried Tomatoes from 28 Cooks
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  1. This is one of my favorites too!! It has all my favorite flavors in one salad!

  2. I love cilantro! That's a delicious, fresh-looking salad.

  3. Looks good, as usual and I think black beans are one of the better ones you can get canned.

  4. The colors in this salad are so appealing that you would never think of it as "diet" food.

  5. This looks so good and that salad dressing is awesome! What a great combo of flavors!!!

  6. This salad sounds good. I like the sound of the chili and cumin in the dressing.

  7. Great looking salad! By the way, that ihatecilantro link you posted had me cracking up!

  8. Yikes, another day that has gotten away from me. Thanks everyone for the nice thoughts. I love this salad.

  9. Looks yummy, and sounds so refreshing...Thanks for another "keeper"!!

  10. Mmm - that's like an explosion of antioxidents! Looks perfect.

  11. Kalyn, your salad looks so colorful and delicious. I'll have to try it.

  12. I love the addition of lime and cilantro. This recipe makes me remind I haven't cook any beans for a so long time...

  13. This sounds delicious. I have become addicted to black beans lately and I do a version of this with mango and avocado.

  14. That salad looks really good. I adore black beans! Thanks for this recipe.

  15. This was quite good! I tweaked it a bit and added coriander - I'll definitely be doing this one again. :)

  16. Jessy, glad to hear you liked it!


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