Last week on the blog I cooked a pound of dried beans to show how easy and inexpensive it is to prepare beans. But I also wanted to show what you can do with a pot of beans, such as use the beans in other dishes.
It’s easy to use the beans in soups and stews and even pastas. I love the idea of stretching dishes, especially those heavy with protein, in order to make them healthier. But there are also so many other ways to use cooked beans.
Today I’m going to make a bean salad. This is not an exceptional or “gourmet” recipe; in fact, you can really change it up to make it your own. But it’s a hearty, healthy, satisfying salad. I must say that whenever I’ve taken a bean salad to parties, people go nuts over them. And they’re so simple!
So hopefully this is a dish that you’ve never thought of making before, and are willing to try it out! It’s definitely wonderful to take to a pot luck, and it can be made ahead of time.
Plus, you can use many different kinds of vinaigrettes or citrus-based dressing with bean salads. I even posted a bean salad on the blog a while back using a home-made green goddess dressing. So the options are endless!
Black Bean Salad
Black beans, no liquid included
Raw zucchini, chopped
Fresh cherry tomatoes, halved
Onion, finely chopped
Chile peppers, finely chopped
Fresh cilantro leaves
Dressing (see below)
Begin by placing cooked beans in a medium-sized bowl. Then begin adding what you want to the beans. I’ve listed what I used, but the fun thing about these bean salads, is that you can use what you like.
Continue to add the ingredients, then pour in the dressing and give everything a toss.
I served my salad with some pickled jalapenos on the side, but you can offer anything you’d like.
And that’s it! Think about how you can make this salad your own with your favorite ingredients, like including avocado, corn, and bell peppers, for example. It all works, and it’s all wonderful!
Lemon Garlic Dressing
Juice of 1 lemon
Olive oil, about 1/3 cup
1 clove fresh garlic
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon oregano
Salt, to taste
Place everything in a blender jar and puree until smooth. If you don’t want a Southwestern-flavored dressing, omit the cumin and oregano.