Monday, June 10, 2013

herbed cuban black bean salad

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This salad has been in our monthly rotation for the better half of a year now - it is super quick, full of flavor and can be made at a moments notice without breaking a sweat.
More often than not this is exactly the type of dish I bring to a family gathering or potluck- it appeals to carnivores & vegans alike, it also has the bonus of being gluten free. Winner, Winner soy chicken dinner.
I am willing to bet that most of you  have these ingredients sitting in your pantry & fridge- that is the beauty of this salad, these are the types of recipes I love having around when Justin has made last minute plans to have friends over for dinner or when I am looking for a quick dinner that takes minimal effort.

The thing I love most about this time of year is hands down my garden. I absolutely love the fact that I can walk out back, snips in hand and have access to a selection of amazing fresh herbs. Herbs are a fairly new addition to my garden, before last year it never occurred to me to grow my own- I had it in my head they were too fussy. Nothing could be further from the truth, growing your own herbs outdoors is super easy. The varieties that come back year after year are the best- you don't even have to think about it. If you are new to gardening, an herb garden is a great starting point- it is really hard to kill even with neglect.

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I tend to like really bold flavors and seasoning, this salad can be adjusted to suite your own taste. We really enjoy a lot of cumin, certainly feel free to scale the amount back a bit. Although many of the items featured in this salad are not quite in season locally, I have found that frozen corn, fresh peppers & greenhouse tomatoes do a fine job of standing in until the good stuff appears at the farmers markets.

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A quick dressing is made with lime juice, cumin, salt & liquid sweetener- if you opt  to use the Agave I would suggest starting off with half the amount called for. Sometimes the agave can over power the overall flavor of the dish, if you do go with local responsible honey, go all in with the full amount.

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Sweet Potato Quesadillas are probably my favorite thing in the world to eat with this salad, my lentil tacos are definitely a favorite too. It would make a pretty awesome filling for a burrito with rice- the leftovers are even better the next day.

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Herbed Cuban Black Bean Salad
serves 4

you will need:
1 cup Corn 
1 cup cherry tomatoes- quartered or halved
(1) 15oz can of black beans , drained & rinsed 
3 tbsp chopped /torn herbs - I used oregano, chives,  winter or summer savory
  3/4 cup chopped colored pepper
2 tbsp red onion, diced
2-3 tsp cumin
2 tbsp honey or agave (if using agave start with 1 tbsp)
(2) limes juiced  
 2 tbsp salt to taste


  In a medium bowl add all ingredients except salt and toss until well combine ensuring all ingredients are well mixed - salt to taste.
Serve immediately or make up to 2 days in advance. 
Stores well up to 4 days- the flavors are even better the next day.


  1. This kind of salad is exactly waht I want to eat for lunch in the summertime! Yay! :)

  2. this salad can be fixed up so easily as i have everything. i love fresh herbs! unfortunately my balcony garden is getting neglected because we are going to move in 2 weeks. but the new home has a yard and i cant wait to plant up so many things!

  3. This salad looks so summery and delicious :D


  4. what a perfect salad to make along with grilled veggies! so bright and colorful filled with so many magical ingredients!

  5. You cant go wrong with black beans, tomato and corn as an easy summer salad! Bonus when you can make it ahead of time and store leftovers for lunches afterwards! If only I had my own herb garden...

  6. This looks delicious! Now where can I find the recipe for sweet potato quesadillas? :)

    1. The sweet potato quesadillas are so easy! I steam 1-2 sweet potatoes, mash with a little salt & seasoning, saute what ever veggies I have on hand, then layer the sweet potato and veggies in a flour tortilla and pan fry each side golden brown- served up with some guac & salsa!

  7. Gorgeous salad! Great flavours. I'm craving fresh, hearty salads like crazy these days! Especially with all the delicious fresh produce around. Yum!

  8. Beautiful, so colourful and vibrant! This looks perfect for showing off in season veggies! I get really lazy, so meals that can be thrown together like this are key, can't wait to try it!

    and p.s. yay honey :)

  9. I love how simple yet fresh and tasty this salad is. So perfect for summer!

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