6/18/2006

Announcing: The Summer Food Competition

Here is the first official entry in the category: best dish to take to someone's house for a barbecue. Black Bean Salad.

We were invited to our neighbor's house for a super-casual barbecue, and I wanted to bring something easy, fresh, that would travel across the backyard well, and that most people might like. I love black beans, and I've had lots of variations on black bean salads, so I decided to make one with all the different things that I love all in one big bowl.

When I make a salad I mostly measure with my eye. I want things to be represented but not dominate, so my process is chop a little bit, see how that looks—add more if necessary. Here are the ingredients for the salad, a salad that is so good that I quietly took the leftovers home and am eating it right now for breakfast.

Black beans (of course)— I used one can of Goya beans, carefully rinsed.
Orzo — cooked in salted water
Corn — I cooked one ear of fresh corn. I think I'd use frozen, but not canned.
Red Pepper — diced to about the same size as a black bean
Yellow Pepper — also diced to about the same size as a black bean
Red Onion — I used about 1/4, diced smaller than a black bean
Mango — about 1/2 C, diced
Cilantro — fresh, about 1/3 C chopped
Juice of 2 limes
salt / pepper
Ground Coriander — a couple of shakes
Ground Cumin — a couple of shakes

I'm eating it right now with a dollop of spicy guacamole on the side. I would add some diced jalapeno if I didn't want kids to have any and wanted most of it for myself. Fresh little tomatoes could be good too, but chopped tomatoes might make it a little watery.

Make it. Love it. Submit your own best take-away summer dishes.

7 comments:

SF Mom of One said...

that does sound like the best black bean salad ever. I can't enter the contest, because now, having been enlightened, I would take yours.

Anonymous said...

That sounds great. I'll try it. Now, do you have any good recipes for a black-eyed pea salad?
signed,
Rednecklwhsk

Deb St-Claire said...

Dear RedNecklwhsk,
I've never tried a black-eyed pea salad, but you've got me thinking. I would definitely do something with some kind of pork in it (proscuitto, little ham chunks?). Maybe some cooked rice, some red onion, parsley, and a little red or green bell pepper for crunch. I might add a little celery, especially the leafy parts. How does that sound?

Maija said...

Yum, I made quite the tasty black bean salad. I used most of the ingredients you listed except corn, orzo & red onion (for some reason 2 grocery stores were out of red onions this weekend - what??). I put it on top of a bunch of baby spinach leaves, with avocado slices on top and brought a baggie of tortilla chips to scoop some of it up for lunch today. The mango was awesome - for some reason, i never thought of doing that before. Now I am hoping my b-friend didn't eat the rest, so I can have it again tomorrow!! Thanks!!

Deb St-Claire said...

Maija,
I'm so glad you liked it too! The baby spinach is a nice addition. Thanks!

Linda said...

Deb's idea for a black-eyed pea salad sounds yummy. Here's one I've tried from Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone:
1 1/2 c. black-eyed peas
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1 tomato seeded and chopped
1 tbs chopped parsley
1 tbs marjoram or 1 tsp dried oregano
Lemon vinaigrette (2tbs fresh lemon juice, 1 tsp finely chopped lemon zest, 1 finely diced shallot, 5 tbs extra virgin olive oil, salt/pepper)
2-3 oz crumbled feta
salt/pepper

simmer fresh or frozen peas in salted water to cover until tender (35 min to one hour). rinse/drain canned peas.
combine ingredients. serve at room temperature.

Deb St-Claire said...

Linda,
We got some fresh black-eyed peas at the Sacramento farmer's market (a fantastic place if you're ever in the area on a Sunday morning btw), and we were going to make the Deborah Madison recipe! The black-eyed peas, though fresh and beautiful, turned out to be flavorless so we shelved the idea. Glad to know that it's worth trying--with my frozen black-eyed peas!