Here is what I think is the best black bean recipe. A very subjective title, I know! But I like this one best; it has such a wonderful combination of ingredients, for a blend of flavours, colours and textures.
The best black bean recipe is: Quinoa and Mango Black Bean Salad. It is adapted from a recipe from The Unconventional Kitchen.
Mmm! Quinoa! I love quinoa. So soft, fluffy, and yet also crisp. It’s high in protein and gluten free (important for me). Somehow, not being able to eat couscous, I think quinoa scratches that same “itch” for me.
And mango! How can I ever express my full love for this delicious fruit? It has a very singular melt-in-the-mouth texture, almost unique among fruits. It’s juicy, and sweet, but also sharp enough to not be sickly, and this sharpness lends it viability in many savoury recipes. (Try mango sushi!). It has such a rich fruity tropical flavour, and a vibrant beautiful yellow colour. What’s more, it’s rich in fibre, vitamin C and beta carotin.
Finally, how could I finish this list without praising the qualities of the black bean. Oh black bean, oh black bean, how can my adoration for thee ever reach the heights of your divine glory? Oh black bean! Perfection, beanified: the personification, the deification of beaniness, beanaliciousness, and beandom.
Once I used kidney beans in a salad.
That was the worst day of my life.
Anyway, on to the best black bean recipe.
1 cup quinoa
1 1/2 cups black beans + 1 tsp baking soda (or one standard size can)
1 large mango
5-7 spring onions (green onions)
1 large red pepper
1/2 cup of chopped coriander leaf (cilantro)
Greens of your choice: lettuce, lamb’s lettuce, mixed greens
Prepare your black beans, if necessary: to cook from dry, just soak them overnight with 1 tsp baking soda, then pour away the black soaking liquid. Add to a pan with fresh water, then boil until cooked. (For more info on cooking black beans, see: How To Cook Black Beans).
While the black beans are cooking, prepare your quinoa. Put it in a saucepan with 3 cups of mineral or filtered water, plus a little salt. Bring to the boil then lower to a simmer. Leave to cook until all the water is absorbed.
Chop the pepper, the coriander leaf, the spring onions, and the greens if necessary. Peel and chop the mango in cubes. Try to resist the temptation to eat it all while doing so. Juice the lime.
Once the beans and quinoa are done, leave them to cool. This is important, or else the heat may cause the greens to wilt.
When the beans and quinoa are cool, toss them together with all the ingredients except the greens. Use the lime juice and olive oil to dress the salad according to your preference.
Finally, present the salad on top of a bed of greens. Bring the food to the table to the sound of an angelic choir. Be prepared to be propositioned to be your guests’ personal chef.