Monday, March 15, 2010

Spicy Black Bean Salad

Spicy Black Bean Salad

Prep Time: 40 min
Cooking Time: 1 hour
Assembly: 10 minutes

What You Need:
1 16 oz. bag dry black beans
1/3 - 1/2 Cup dry spices (salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder - The truth is I don't really measure my spices here.  I go by aroma.  If it smells good, I stop dumping in the spices.  Helpful, aren't I?  For the beginner, I'd say use ~1 Tbsp each of salt, pepper, cumin, and chili powder.  Cumin adds depth and a smokey flavor.  Chili powder adds heat.  These are your beans, so season to taste.  When in doubt, stick your finger in the mix and taste.  Keep in mind the final flavor will be muted.)

1 red onion, chopped
2 large ripe red tomato, chopped
1/2 Cup chopped cilantro
3 jalapenos, seeded and minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp. lime or lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1/3 Cup olive oil
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

What You Need:
4 qt saucepan, with lid
large spoon
cutting board
chef's knife
large bowl

What You Do:
1. Rinse the dry black beans. Sort the beans to remove anything that doesn't look like a firm, black bean. Drop sorted, rinsed beans in saucepan.
2. Dump spices on top of beans. Mix well. You're looking for good coverage on the beans. Let sit for 30 minutes. This allows the spices to cling better to the beans, which means tastier beans.
3. After 30 minutes, cover the beans with water. The water needs to cover the beans by at least 2 inches.
4. Bring beans to a boil, then cover and simmer on low for one hour. You'll know the beans are done with they're tender and starting to split.

****Now I know you could easily use canned black beans instead of cooking them yourself and you're welcome to it. However, cooking your own black beans with this method gives you much tastier beans. Also, I know traditional wisdom is to soak the beans overnight and then cook them the next day or to cook them for an hour and then cook them again. I have made this recipe for 18 years and have finally concluded that the above method yields the best-tasting beans. But, to each her own.****

5. Drain beans. DO NOT RINSE.
6. Measure out 2-3 Cups of beans into your large mixing bowl. (If you like a lot of beans, use more. If you like fewer beans, use less.) Chill remaining beans and use later or freeze in a bag.
7. While the beans are still warm, add the remaining ingredients. Stir it up, but be gentle.
8. Taste salad. This is the time to adjust the lemon or lime juice, red wine vinegar, and olive oil.
9. Serve with tortilla chips. This salad is awesome warm or chilled. Refrigerate and keep for up to a week.

Rinse the beans.


Dump spices on the beans.

Look for this level of coverage.

Cover with water.

Yes, it will look like industrial sludge.

Other delicious uses:
- Heated in a burrito
- Heated in a skillet and served with a fried egg or next to scrambled eggs
- Served on top of a lettuce salad


  1. This looks so good! I'm going to have to try it!

  2. Huge hit at my house! And I shared with my friend...we will see if it goes over as well with them as it did with my kids!



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