Keen on Beans

June 3, 2008

It's been over two months. Sorrysorrysorrysorrysorry. Alright, onward.

I never liked beans much. String beans frenched and dressed with lemon juice yes, but vulgaris, no. Hamburger soup involved painstakingly removing all the kidney beans and piling them like sweating larvae around the perimeter of the plate, imaging that the two likely tasted quite similar. I'd ask for my burritos without beans, my tortas without beans, wouldn't touch a bean-tainted salsa let alone a bowl of chilli. Funnily enough (or perhaps not so surprising), even my countless bean-based co-op meals did not do much to pique my interest in the foul little things. I can't quite pinpoint when the tide turned and I think nutrition of all things actually had the most to do with it: I decided that I'd better start liking beans. Now it seems all bets are off as far as how long it will take before I'm sick of beans seeing as I'll down a nice can of Goya anything in about as long as it would take me to work through an equivalent serving of sorbet or Tomme Crayeuse. Beans with salmon, beans with spinach, beans with kale, beans with cumin and chile, beans and grape tomatoes (rarely beans and rice, hm.).

In an attempt to hasten the approach of summer, I made the following salad sometime in March. Though I initially thought it would suffer from the near tasteless peppers (seasons Tory, produce has seasons), the dressing packed enough of a punch that combined with the richness of the black beans it pulled together a pleasing dish. Now that my procured peppers are up to the task of providing a crispy combination of sweet and sour, the dressing provides a subtle compliment to the natural play of flavors provided by the key ingredients. Unless you're one of those people unlucky enough to taste soap instead of the glory that is fresh cilantro, said green is a treat as a garnish for this salad.


Black Bean Bell Pepper Salad
from Smitten Kitchen
A note in regards to beans: I say use Goya. Yes, yes, you can soak your own if you wish but I've had nary a bad can of Goya anything. They are never mushy or flavorless and hold up under vigorous rinsing. Black, chick, cannellini, go to town.
2 cans black beans
4 bell peppers (I use one of each color)
1 medium white onion (Use red at your peril. I like to eat raw onions so I didn't perish.)
3 Tbl olive oil
1 tsp cumin
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp honey
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
juice from one lime
fresh cilantro
Rinse the beans well and drain them.

Seed and chop the peppers and onion and mix with the beans.

Whisk the remaining ingredients together, and toss over the bean mixture. Adjust to taste depending on your penchant for sweet and spicy (I typically add a bit more salt and a few cranks of pepper).

Garnish with cilantro.


1 comment:

Joel said...

you can also substitute a can of garbanzo beans for one of the cans of black beans. Its really very good!