Tomato and Avocado Salad with Lime-Herb Dressing served with Fresh Black Beans

23 08 2009
Black Beans to the left; Salad to the right!

Black Beans to the left; Salad to the right!

So the sous chef and I were looking through Ms. Madison’s cookbook this morning and the tomato and avocado salad jumped right out.  You know IF everything was at the market (which was really likely considering this time of year) but the best part was how the black beans came to be.  The sous chef was also checking out our local farmers market blog and had noted that one stand had fresh shelling black beans today.  At the time I didn’t really think much of it until Ms. Madison noted that to make a complete meal she served it with warm corn tortillas with black beans spread on them.  That was convenient the market had fresh black beans and we needed those to make  a salad a meal!

The only things we didn’t get for the meal from the farmers market were the corn tortillas, avocado, and a cucumber that a friend of mine actually grew and gave to us! Everything else was from our bounty haul this morning.  I was in charge of the beans while the sous chef tackled the salad all on her own.  First task was to shell the beans.  We had maybe 1 lbs of beans to shell.

Beans to Shell and cell phone for size

Beans to Shell and cell phone for size

The trick is to figure out how much/many beans we will end up after they are shelled. Today I think we did pretty well.  The most amazing part was that not all the beans were black.  Some were a light green color, some more purple, some a deep black, and even neater looking were the ones that were black in one spot and it appeared the purple was slowly taking over the light green parts. I realize these were all just different stages of black bean growth but it was still cool to see because I had never thought about it.

Black Beans Shelled

Black Beans Shelled

After they were shelled they went into boiling salted water and immediate turned the water pitch black.  Ok it took 30 seconds but I turned around for about 3 seconds and turned back and it was black.  So I cooked them for about 12 minutes, strained them, and smashed them with a fork.  I added some salt and lemon juice and mixed it all about into a nice spread.  The lemon juice added a nice little tang to the beans and complimented the salad nicely.  We friend up the corn tortillas and served them with the beans on top.  Even though I’m not a normal bean eater they were good. I wouldn’t say amazing but very good. I ate my entire tortilla of them although they were a bit on the dry/boring side alone.  I put some of the extra goat cheese in them and it really helped a lot. 

Now onto the salad. This salad was high in chunks and low in lettuce.  I didn’t make it but it had pepper, tomatoes, onion, avocado,  cucumber, and maybe one other vegetable all coarsely chopped and mixed together.  2 cups of lettuce pulled it all together with probably close to 4 cups of chopped veggies.  The dressing was olive oil with oregano, mint, cilantro, jalapeno pepper, and probably salt and pepper all mixed together.  We served the dressing on the side so the left lovers would keep longer. In addition to the dressing on the side we served the chevre on the side and the garlic stuffed olives on the side.  The cheese strictly because the dressing wasn’t on yet and the olives because I don’t like them. 

The salad was great too. Our guest commented she didn’t like tomatoes or onions and like the salad so it must be doing something right.  If a salad could be hearty this would be it.  A great meal on a warm summer night. Cool and crisp served with a side of flavorful. 

I almost forgot the guy at the market selling the lettuce was REALLY excited about this kind, although I can’t remember what kind it is.  We actually were looking at another head that was rather small (we don’t do well with left over lettuce) and he told me what it was but then started talking about how much he liked this other kind. So we went with that. SOLD!



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