Al Dente on the side: Black bean salad

It’s a salad. It’s a salsa.

STOP! You’re both right.

The Wife loves black beans, so I do my best to oblige. I do my best gringo arroz con frijoles negros during the year, but I was looking for something this weekend while wandering through the produce department. The avocados and tomatoes have been touch and go this year, but Wegmans had a nice selection of both the last time I was there. Score!

As I mentioned above, I would bring this to a party as a dip or serve it as a side salad. There’s a versatility to it that is quite appealing and the protein and fiber from the beans certainly don’t hurt.

What worked: Avocado. I don’t care what the experts say, but I would rather have a firm avocado that is a shade before being ripe.

What didn’t: The handful of ingredients that I forgot. Red bell peppers, shallots…it’s by the grace of God that I remembered the beans.

Will it make another appearance: Very likely.

Black bean salad
Adapted from Once Upon A Chef 

  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained (I use Goya)
  • 1 red bell peppers, diced
  • 2 small tomatoes on the vice, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium shallot, minced
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, best quality such as Colavita
  • 1 tsp. lime zest (be sure to zest limes before juicing them)
  • 6 tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish
  • 1 Hass avocados, cubed

Combine all ingredients except for avocados in a large bowl and mix well. Cover and chill for a few hours or overnight. Right before serving, add avocados and mix gently, being careful not to mash avocados.

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