Black Bean Salsa

This summer I am featuring some of my favorite garden produce recipes. For the entire list, see the Recipes page or click on the recipes label.

A couple of weekends ago, I got together with some friends for a long overdue girls' night.  A night of relaxing, girl talk, drinks, and great food? Yes, please! 

While the company is hands down the best part of our girls nights, this little gathering also featured some amazing food.  There was lots of fresh produce, lots of black beans (because great minds really do think alike!), and lots of healthier options, when you think of the stuff girls' nights are usually made of, like decadent cheeses and triple chocolate anything.  This was truly a perfect spread for a summer night with the girls: fresh bruchetta, watermelon, grilled pork loin, Natalie made a fantastic avocado salad, and (because you have to have something to indulge in) gooey rice krispy bars.

My contribution was a big batch of fresh black bean salsa.  I really wanted to make something that would use some of my abundant supply of garden produce, and since this used onion, scallions, tomatoes, and four different kinds of peppers out of the garden, it was a perfect choice.  Outside of the time it takes to soak and cook the beans, this recipe couldn't be easier to put together.  You just chop a lot of veggies and toss them with the oil, lime juice and seasonings, and serve. 

For girls' night, I simply served the salsa with a bag of chips for scooping, but here are all the other things I did with the leftovers:  topped a grilled chicken breast with a couple of spoonfuls, used it as filling for a quesadilla, added it to my plain lettuce salad along with some of the leftover chicken, and I simply dug into it plain (sans chips) like any bean salad ... and it only got better with time!

Black Bean Salsa
3 cups coked black beans, rinsed with cold water
3 cups tomato, seeded and diced
1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
2 large banana peppers, seeded and diced
2 medium jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely diced
1 hot chile pepper, seeded and finely diced
1/2 cup diced red onion
10-12 scallions, sliced
2 cups roasted sweet corn, removed from the cob
1/3 cup cilantro, medium chopped
Juice from 2 limes
I Tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
A couple of pinches of salt (optional)

Clean and chop all vegetables and cilantro and transfer into a large bowl with the black beans. In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, olive oil, cumin, and chili powder.  Pour lime juice mixture over chopped ingredients, add a couple of pinches of salt, if desired, and gently fold with a rubber spatula until well mixed.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve (it is pretty tasty right from the start, but give it at least a couple of hours for the flavors to really come together).

All measurements for the vegetables are approximate; adjust according to your personal taste, as desired. 

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