Preparing food for my extended family has always been a challenge. I'm faced with many picky, meat/potato eaters who don't like many vegetables or foods with 'interesting' flavours. If I want to sneak in veggies or introduce them to a new ingredient, I know I need to be clever or make it similar to foods they typically eat.
This past fourth of July holiday was no different. I knew that if I made something for the family, it couldn't be too bold, had to be approachable, and that I'd need to find out if there were any foods of absolute dislike.
My brother was planning to make brisket in the Green Egg (see below pic) and he was craving a black bean salad to accompany the beef. In the interest of my brothers hankering, I thought why not; it'd be easy to assemble at the lake for a large group of people.
Being over zealous about my salad, I purchased too many vegetables and unknowingly included ingredients the family detested, tomatoes and radish. Remembering my audience, I omitted the unfavorable ingredients and starting prepping. The radish and tomatoes would be better eaten while boating on the lake anyway -healthy treat for me-
Family Conclusion: they absolutely loved it! The salad was versatile and was best enjoyed over a bed of greens -per the ladies of the north- and as a topping to the beef -per the gents-
Many said they were keen to try making it at home, BONUS.
This brought me such joy, knowing I was able to nourish my family with something they truly enjoyed eating.
spicy black bean salad
1 tbsp olive oil
1 poblano, small diced
1 jalapeno, minced
1 red bell pepper, small diced
1 yellow bell pepper, small diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp sriracha or hot sauce (optional)
1 tbsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1 medium red onion, small dice
2- 15 oz cans black beans, drained and rinsed
2 corn cobs, cleaned corn (see pic for a visual of a simple technique)
2 limes, freshly squeezed juice
1 small bunch cilantro, cleaned and chopped
1/2 cup Cotija cheese (optional garnish)
s & p*
1. In a sauté pan, heat olive oil and add poblano, jalapeño, bell peppers, garlic, hot sauce, cumin and coriander. Cook for 5-7 minutes and allow to cool while prepping the rest.
2. In a large bowl, combine red onion, black beans, corn, lime juice, and cilantro.
3. Mix all ingredients together and allow to marinate for at least 30-60 minutes.
4. Add garnish and serve.
Recipe: to make this recipe even quicker with less clean-up, don't bother to sauté the garlic and peppers. I knew my family wouldn't like the raw garlicky flavor, so I opted to cook out some of the bitterness.
Cotija cheese is a semi-hard, cow's milk cheese originating from Mexico.
s & p = salt and pepper
If you're interested in learning about bean/legume nutrition with cook times for each variety, click here. Simply scroll down to Beans and Pulses.