Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Black Bean Salad with Peppers and Corn


I love the bounty of fruits and vegetables that summer brings!  All year I find myself waiting for that first rosy peach, the sweet scent of fresh cut strawberries added to a fruit salad, that ear of corn that is still warm from the summer sun, the bright colors of the heirloom tomatoes on the table at the market.  Living in Carlsbad, I am privileged to have strawberry fields, tomato fields and a fresh produce stand less than a mile away.  Not much remains undeveloped around here, but a few of these fields have stood their ground and kept growing.

In addition to the fields near my home, we have a number of Farmer's Markets that bring fresh produce of all kinds for me to choose from.  I count myself lucky to have no less than 5 markets within a 10 minute drive, so most days of the week I can pop over and fill my basket with fresh treasures for my family. 

Last week's market in Vista did indeed provide a bounty!  With my husband by my side, progressively becoming more and more laden with bags of fresh produce, we perused the tables of mostly local, fresh produce.  Later that evening we put together a meal of grass fed skirt steak accompanied by this Black Bean Salad and grilled asparagus.  Every ingredient except for the beans was purchased at the market providing a bounty of a meal!

Because of it's versatility, this salad has become one of my "go to" side dishes.  The ingredients go together in a flash and can
easily be swapped for what you have on hand or where every your mood takes you.  As a side it works well with just about any grilled main dish - fish, chicken, beef, pork, etc.  The jalapeño may be left out if you are serving to some who don't like spice, or increased for those who do.  Any type of pepper works well for the bell pepper, sometimes I grill them, sometimes I don't.  Roasted poblanos have become one of my favorite "when they are on hand" substitutions!  Israeli Cous Cous provides an added texture that I love... other small pastas will work, but for me, the Cous Cous fits perfectly.

  
Black Bean Salad with Peppers and Corn
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Kitchen Library, Beans & Rice 

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
kernels from 1 - 2 ears of grilled corn (I simply peel the corn and place it directly on grill for 5-6 minutes, turning occasionally to get equal grill marks)
1 red bell pepper (or grilled poblano, or green or yellow peppers, or whatever you find fresh!), chopped
1 -2 small heirloom tomatoes, chopped
1 small red onion, chopped (green onions work well too!)
1 small jalapeño, finely diced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbs chopped, fresh parsley
3 ½ Tbs red wine vinegar
2 Tbs olive oil (I use a garlic infused dipping oil... from my local market!)
¼ cup Israeli Cous Cous
salt and pepper to taste

Heat water in a small pot on the stove to cook Cous Cous.  Cook according to package directions and drain. 

In a large bowl combine first 8 ingredients (beans through parsley).  Add olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper and toss well to combine.  Taste, and adjust salt and pepper if necessary.

This salad can be made several hours ahead of time and chilled until ready to serve.  It travels well and works well for left overs too!

Click here to print

2 comments:

  1. Whoa, what are those long green peppers or maybe beans in your first photo?? I have never seen anything like those?

    Anyway, great to check out your blog, and I see you live in Carlsbad, I am just down in San Diego! :) Great to meet you and looking forward to seeing more posts.

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  2. I had never seen anything like them either! Actually, they are a type of squash. The woman at the table was Asian and didn't speak much English. She gave some very complicated name and with my confused look the lady next to her said "Just call it Asian Squash!" So Asian Squash it is! It was nearly 1 1/2 feet long! One of these days I'm going to buy one and do a bit of research on it.

    Great to "meet" you! We are hoping for sun! Love your name, by the way...!

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