Latin food can be local too! This recipe is for a very simple salad using black beans from Cayuga Pure Organics near Ithaca, New York. Thanks to them, we have access to a great vegetarian source of protein from a regional organic farm. The dish was inspired by a wonderful dish made for us by Autumn Stoscheck of Eve's Cidery , who used as many fresh vegetables she could tossed with cooked black beans. The result was a juicy salad of September bliss.
This is a simplified version with just a few ingredients. There are no exact quantities for this recipe, because it is up to you to judge the amounts you want to use. The idea is to have the same proportions of onions, tomato, and peaches, and just make the dish as colorful and diverse as possible. Who needs mango when we have ripe, juicy peaches?!
Cooked black beans (see below)
Heirloom tomatoes(of any color and shape)
Small red or green Chile peppers
Herbs: mint, cilantro, parsley
Vinegar (and lime if not on a local diet)
Collard greens or kale (about 3 cups chopped)
Dice the red onions, tomatoes, and peaches to about a medium size, not much bigger than the beans. For 1 cup of cooked beans you will need about 1/2 a peach, 1 medium tomato, 1/4 of a red onion, and about 1" of the chile pepper.
Mince the chiles finely and toss them in along with the herbs for extra flavor. Dress with vinegar, season with salt, and toss thoroughly.
Steam the collard greens and kale, and place them on the bottom of two dishes. Spoon the bean salad on top of the greens and serve.
Makes enough for 2 healthy portions.
How To Cook Dried Black Beans:
Take 1 cup dried beans, place in a bowl, and cover with about double their amount in water. Soak for at least 4 hours or overnight.
Drain the beans of their soaking liquid and transfer to a pot. Cover again with at least 2-4 inches of water and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down and simmer covered on very low heat until the beans are cooked through and soft (about 1 hour). You can add cumin, ginger, or garlic to the cooking liquid to add flavor. Ginger and cumin both help with the digestibility of the beans, reducing gas.