The word "salad" comes with a lot of baggage, associated with restriction and lack of pleasure. But that doesn't have to be the case if you bring the right ingredients to the mix – aka, black beans.
Black beans are guaranteed to make you feel full thanks to all their fibre, and they work well with spices and herbs that will make your tongue happy. Soaking them overnight, instead of using canned black beans, lets you control the texture and also leads to better flavour.
The citrus vinaigrette for this black bean salad perks everything up.
Ingredients (makes 4 servings):
1. Soak black beans overnight. Pour off water, place beans in a pot, cover with fresh water and simmer for 1.5 hours or until cooked.
2. Peel carrots, quarter them length-wise and then cut into small pieces. Blanch in boiling water for about 3 minutes.
3. To make the dressing, extract the orange, lemon and lime juice. Grate about 1/2 tsp of the lime peel. Finely chop mint and coriander. Peel and mince ginger. Remove the outer leaves, stalk and upper woody parts of lemongrass and chop the remaining bits. Mix everything together with oil and brown sugar, and season with salt and pepper.
4. Thinly slice spring onions. Destem and deseed chilli pepper and finely chop. Quickly steam edamame, then mix with beans, carrots, spring onion, chilli pepper and dressing. Leave for about 1 hour.
5. Serve on top of salad greens or with cheese quesadillas.
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