Giant Black Bean Salad

Giant Black Bean Salad Recipe

Let's go find summer. There are many times, particularly this time of year, when I turn to Wayne and say these four words. To find summer might mean taking a short stroll west, just far enough to sneak out from under the fog bank. Other times it requires getting in the car and escaping San Francisco altogether. We often go north to Napa or Point Reyes or Stinson Beach. Other times we head south to Pescadero, a little town set back from the coast a couple of miles - home to Harley Farms Goat Dairy and Phipps Country Store & Farm. The last time I was at Phipps a bin of their huge, glossy, black beans caught my attention. These were beans that looked like large black beetles. I bought a bag, and made this salad - black beans and toasted almonds tossed with a honey-jalapeno-lime dressing served over baby arugula and finished with a bit of crumbled feta.

Black Bean Salad Recipe

I think this is an example of how you can introduce an element of surprise and delight simply by playing with one element - in this case size. More specifically, the size of the beans. It has the potential to take the ubiquitous black bean salad into fresh territory. I took a bowl of the cooked beans to a friend's house and at a glance she thought I had a bowl full of black olives -when cooked they are the the size of my thumb, from the knuckle up. Super fun.

I think the beans were some sort of black runner beans (out of stock on their site), but don't let it deter you if you can't find the exact bean. I suspect black valentines would be nice here or midnight black beans - neither nearly as large, but still wonderful heirloom beans. I'm tempted to make this salad again using these Ayocote Negro, which I haven't used before.

Also, it probably goes without saying - it is worth it to cook up a pot of beans from scratch for a salad like this. The thing is, the beans are the star, so you want them to have great texture and flavor. But yes, you can substitute canned black beans and the sky isn't going to fall ;) The salad will still be good, a bit mushier, but still tasty.

Giant Black Bean Salad Recipe

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 small jalapeño, seeded, deveined and chopped
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 small garlic clove
1/2 teaspoon mustard
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 -3 big handfuls baby arugula (or other salad greens), well washed and dried
3 cups cooked black beans
1/4 cup feta, crumbled
1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted

Start by making the dressing. I use an immersion blender - but a blender or food processor will work just as well. Combine the lime juice, vinegar, honey, jalapeño, salt, garlic and mustard and puree. Add the olive oil and puree until everything comes together. Taste and adjust with more salt, honey, or lime juice if needed. Set aside until you are ready to serve the salad.

Just before you are ready to serve the salad gently toss the arugula with a bit of the dressing. Arrange it on a platter. Now toss the beans and most of the almonds with a generous splash of the dressing. Arrange the beans on top of the arugula and finish by sprinkling with the remaining almonds and the crumbled feta cheese.

Serves 4 - 6.

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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Comments

  • This salad does look delicious. Is there an error in the ingredients? Rather than 1/4 teaspoon of olive oil should it be 1/4 cup? HS: Yes, good catch Don. I meant cup not teaspoon. Whoops. I've updated the recipe.

    Don
  • Wow. This looks fantastic and I am determined to give it a try. Not sure where I am going to find black beans that big though. Thanks for sharing!

    Lucy C
  • those r the iggest black beans i have ever seen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    colby
  • Those beans look amazing! I've been craving black beans lately, and now I'm going to have to get some soaking. Hope I can find an interesting variety locally.

    lisaiscooking
  • it looks really tasty, i think my hubby would like it to, i am on diet so salads are better for me too

    Bekleidung
  • Oh wow you weren't lying when you said those black beans were giant! The salad looks really refreshing for the summer.

    Nutmeg Nanny
  • Heidi, you continually make me crave more healthy foods (I say as I sit here with my coffee and danish breakfast). Happy summer!

    Barbra
  • Wowee, those are giant black beans! I've never seen such a thing and suspect that I won't be able to find them in my part of the woods, but I'm definitely going to try the recipe with another bean. Always happy to find more bean salad ideas :)

    Michele at A House Called Nut
  • I pretty much always cook beans from scratch - I much prefer the taste and texture that results. If I could find giant black beans, I'd love to give them a whirl but, meanwhile, I think I'll be trying this with the regular-sized specimens...

    Daily Spud
  • This looks fantastic. I love black beans and now I want to find some of those heirloom beans you talked about.

    Kari (Eating Simply)
  • Fantastic salad! I have never seen black beans so large and am now determined to find some near me.

    ashley (sweet & natural)
  • Fantastic salad! I have never seen black beans so large and am now determined to find some near me.

    ashley (sweet & natural)
  • Those black beans are huge! I love them and so beautiful. Mixed bean salads are my go-to easy meal for summer. I make a whole batch at the start of the week and eat them throughout. I find they get even better as the week goes on and the beans have a chance to marinate a little. I also like to throw in some raw sprouted lentils too. This recipe looks great!

    Meghan (Making Love In The Kitchen)
  • Those black beans are huge! I love them and so beautiful. Mixed bean salads are my go-to easy meal for summer. I make a whole batch at the start of the week and eat them throughout. I find they get even better as the week goes on and the beans have a chance to marinate a little. I also like to throw in some raw sprouted lentils too. This recipe looks great!

    Meghan (Making Love In The Kitchen)
  • Wow this is a perfect vegetarian meal! So many of my favorite ingredients, all together in one dish. The big black beans seem a little weird to me. Although I have been meaning to cook beans from scratch (I've never done it), so maybe this will be my first try. Thanks, great post!

    Matt (No Meat Athlete)
  • Woah! Those are the biggest black beans I've ever seen. Kinda intimidating if you ask me :)

    jd
  • Let's go find summer. The motto of my life right now. A California native in London means constantly on a quest to find some much needed sun and summer activities...like a walk that requires no rain gear or an outdoor BBQ! Though being in this part of the world does have its advantages...we are going to find a bit of summer in a few days for a quick trip to Nice, France. Canned beans are easy and great when you need them quick, but I love the flavor and density of the soak your own.

    gastroanthropologist
  • delicious!congratulations!

    alison
  • Those beans are incredible. Unfortunately, my black bean experiences generally involve a can opener. Though not always a bad thing... They fare quite well in a black bean and quinoa salad I make quite often. http://makingitwithmeleyna.com/472/

    meleyna
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