Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Summery Citrus Black Bean Salad!

Summery Citrus Black Bean Salad!    

I've come to the conclusion that here in New England the weather is finicky and unpredictable. That's why on this day in May it is rainy and cool, even though my mind and body is telling me that it should be sunny and at least 65, if not 70.... alas there are things in this life I can not control, and the weather is most certainly one of them.
    But I can try my best to convince myself that it's almost summer with this Summery Citrus Black Bean Salad. I make a lot of variations on this salad depending on what I've got in the fridge. Don't have scallions? No worries, try some red onion! Hate cilantro? Try some parsley! This is a great dish, because it's so versatile. You can have it stuffed into a pita, as an accompaniment to some tortilla chips, as a side with a burger, or simply by it's lonesome with a spoon.
    This is a tasty tex-mex inspired salad full of texture, and flavor. It's got some freshness from the lime, and cilantro, sweetness from the orange, spicy from the jalepeno,  smokeyness from the roasted corn, and all around deliciousness from the avocado. Not to mention that it's full of protein, and iron from the yummy black beans, and lots of fiber from the veggies.
    Get goin' and make some of this yummy salad, wether you just want to pretend it's summer, or you're looking for a light meal to get ready for those summer clothes, it's tasty no matter what.

Summery Citrus Black Bean Salad

2 cans Black Beans, rinsed and drained well
1 red bell pepper, diced small
2 carrots, peeled and diced small
4 scallions, chopped thinly on a bias
1 cup Trader Joe's Roasted Corn, thawed (plain corn is fine as well)
1 jalepeno, seeds and ribs removed, chopped fine
1/2 cup cilantro, finely chopped
1/2 avocado, cut in chunks

1/4 cup fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)
1/4 cup fresh orange juice (about 1/2 of 1 orange)
2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
a few dashes hot sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Place the black beans, red bell pepper, carrots, scallions, corn, jalepeno, and cilantro in a large bowl. Mix lightly to combine. Set aside

In a 2 cup glass liquid measuring cup, add the lime juice, orange juice, red wine vinegar, dijon, hot sauce, salt, and pepper, whisk to combine. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while whisking, to combine.

Add about half of the vinaigrette to the black bean mixture. Stir to combine. Add the avocado, stir carefully so that you don't break up the avocado pieces. Taste to see if you'd like to add more vinaigrette. I think I added an extra 1/4 cup. About 3/4 cup of dressing total. But see what you like!