Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Tex-Mex Black Bean Salad

What Can I Bring?

Impromptu gatherings are always fun and usually your first response to an invitation is, "What can I bring?" If you're lucky, the answer may be a specific request - like brownies. Generally, the hostess replies, "Whatever you want to bring." We have just the right potluck, carry-in dish. All the freshest ingredients for this versatile, Tex-Mex Black Bean Salad are available at Jungle Jim's International Market. This particular salad is special because it satisfies all the requirements for a gluten-free, low-fat, high fiber, vegetarian and vegan diet. No one has to walk away hungry! The photo below shows this salad with grilled chicken, so you can add protein to make a heartier salad.

Let's talk a little about the ingredients. The vinaigrette gets its zing and smoky flavor from the chopped chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. It's a product you can find in our Hispanic section at both stores. The recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of chopped chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. What do you do with the rest of the can? Don't throw it away! Put the remainder of the can in a blender or food processor and puree it. Keep it for up to 6 months in the refrigerator in a glass jar with a plastic lid. Because of the acidity of the peppers and sauce, do not use a metal container or lid. Now you can readily add a teaspoon to sauces, salsas, hummus or any other dish that could use a little punch of heat or flavor.

While fresh corn is at its peak, steam or grill it before adding to the salad. In the winter months, use frozen corn, but make sure you drain it well. We like to use converted rice, like Uncle Ben's, because it is less sticky than other kinds of rice. Brown rice works well, too, but is just not as colorful.

Tex-Mex Black Bean Salad
One 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
One 15-ounce can corn, drained
1 cup cooked rice
6 scallions, white and green parts, chopped
2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 small orange pepper, small dice
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

1/3 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Juice of 1 lime
1 tablespoon chopped chipotle chile in adobo sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon each: cumin and chili powder
¾ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper

Combine salad ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk dressing together in a small bowl and pour over salad. Toss to combine and refrigerate a few hours or overnight. Allow salad to come to room temperature and stir before serving. Serves 4-6 as a side salad.

Variation: Add a finely chopped jalapeno pepper to heat things up! Add grilled shrimp or chicken and serve over salad greens as an entrée. Add a diced mango or omit rice, if desired.

From Leigh’s cookbook:  Be Your Guest, A Collection of Super Simple Make-Ahead Recipes. 

You can purchase this cookbook at the Gourmet Galeria at Jungle Jim's International Market.

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