Friday, August 20, 2010

The Magical Black Bean

Black beans are full of everything good for you. They are endlessly adaptable and fun to cook with. Last winter I had some black beans and edamame (another favorite) and decided they would make a yum salad.

Then I discovered wheatberries. These little pieces of grain pack a big punch. They add great flavor and a little crunchy texture. Now we have the trifecta of fiber in our salad.

The recipe below is a pretty universal version. However you really don't have to follow it that closely. This salad has morphed into a "let's clean out the veggie drawer" salad. Tonight's version included, black beans, edamame, fresh tomatoes, a cubanelle and jalapeno pepper from the garden, red and white onion (because I had a little of both) and I put in just a splash of soy sauce. I didn't have any cilantro and I forgot to cook the wheatberries, but it turned out just fine. In fact the Galley Slave said this might be his favorite incarnation of the salad. I attribute it to the fact he was really hungry.

This bean salad is a perfect addition to any meal. It keeps well in the fridge for several days. It's great to take to a pitch in dinner. I've even thrown some leftover cooked chicken in and served the whole thing on some baby greens. This is a great way to embellish. Don't be afraid to mix it up. And if you think you don't like black beans I dare you to try this, it will make a believer out of you. When you serve this dish, just don' mention that it's "healthy".

Bean Salad

1 – 15 oz. can Black beans rinsed and drained
1 – cup shelled edamame beans
1 – cup red onion diced
1 – cup cucumber chopped
2/3 cup chopped roasted red pepper
1 small jalapeno or Serrano chile seeded and diced
1 – cup cherry tomatoes halved
½ cup wheat berries that have been cooked
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
3 TBLSP Red wine Vinegar
3 TBLSP Rice wine vinegar
3 TBLSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and pepper

Bring ½ cup wheatberries and 2 quarts water to a boil, turn down the heat and simmer for about 50 minutes or until they are still slightly crunchy. Drain and rinse with cold water and let drain for a few minutes.

Combine the first 8 ingredients in a bowl and mix gently. Pour the vinegars and olive oil over the bean mixture and stir. Add black pepper and salt to taste.

Embellish As You Wish

You can do any number of embellishes here. Carrots are a great addition, I like to shred them and add in. If you can’t find wheatberries or don’t want them leave them out. If you don’t like cilantro just omit it. You can add some fresh squeezed lime juice for extra tang. If you don’t have a jalapeno you can always throw in a pinch of crushed red pepper or just leave it out. Sometimes a little Feta cheese added in is good.

1 comment:

  1. I like having all of these recipes in one place! I bought wheat berries this weekend :) YUM! - Amelia