"Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more. It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Summer is Here!/Mid-Winter Treat! Salad

Several years ago, I learned that the reason I had a hard time digesting green peppers is that they should be labeled inedible in that they are a non-ripe vegetable. At the same time, I discovered that, lo and behold, I could digest the colourful, but pricier peppers... because they are ripe. So began my love of bell peppers, those delicious but ridiculously priced bells of great taste. Coloured bell peppers are usually about 4.99$ per lb in my area (OUCH). So, whenever they go on sale to 1.99$ per lb, usually mid-winter and early summer, I stock up. Two or three go to making the salad the recipe of which I am about to share, one is for eating fresh in the day or two after the salad is gone, and the rest are roasted and frozen.

This salad is fantastic because I always have all the ingredients, except the peppers, on hand. So, except for the extravagant vegetables, it's a rather frugal meal. My favourite way to eat it is rolled up in a tortilla, burrito style.

Black Bean Salad With Bell Peppers

1 1/4 cups dry black beans, washed and sorted
1 small yellow onion, peeled
2 bay leaves
2 big peppers (red, orange and/or yellow), or one big one and two small ones to get all three colours.... :-), seeds removed and diced


5 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice (I once put 5 in by mistake and it was even more delicious, go figure)
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
3/4 tsp salt (I find that 1/2 tsp is way too much, but, I don't salt much and have noticed that guests tend to add salt)
1/4 tsp ground cumin (I make it a rounded 1/4 tsp)

Bring the black beans and some water to a rapid boil. Remove from the heat, put on a lid, and let sit for one hour. Drain the beans, and put them back in the pot with water to cover. Add the yellow onion and the bay leaves. Cover and simmer for 70 minutes, adding water as needed.

Alternative method: Heat one can of black beans, the onion, the bay leaves, and a bit of water until the onion is soft.

Meanwhile, in a big bowl, combine the dressing ingredients. Add the peppers. Drain the beans and dump them, still hot, in the bowl after removing the bay leaves.

This salad keeps for three days in the refrigerator and serves four (meals) or six (entrées)... or so the recipe claims. It's just enough for a black bean, bell pepper, and cumin lover to eat for half a week for lunch and dinner. :-) It tastes best at room temperature.

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