BLACK BEAN SALAD, for six to eight


This salad “travels well and is better the day after it is made: a good accompaniment to hot or cold grilled meat. You can also add cold grilled meat directly to the salad and turn it into an entrée.”


For the beans:

1 pound dried black turtle beans

½ teaspoon dried thyme

¼ teaspoon fennel seed

2 fat garlic cloves, peeled

1 bay leaf

½ teaspoon salt


For the dressing:

2/3 cup chopped red onion

½ cup chopped red bell pepper

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

2 tablespoons chopped scallion

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

4 tablespoons olive oil

10 tablespoons lime juice (about 5 limes)

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste



1.Sort the beans carefully, discarding any small pebbles that may be mixed in. Soak the beans in cold water to cover for 5 hours, then drain and rinse them well.

2. Put the beans in a saucepan and add enough water to come about 1-1/2 inches above them.

3. Add the thyme, fennel seed, garlic and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 1 to 1-1/2 hours, or until the beans are tender but not mushy. Add the salt and stir until it dissolves.

4. Drain the beans and rinse them under cold water for 1 minute to stop the cooking process. Drain them again.

5. In a large bowl, combine the dressing ingredients and mix well. Add the beans, toss and serve. This salad keeps for 4 to 5 days, covered and refrigerated.


adapted from Chris Schlesinger and John Willoughby, The Thrill of the Grill

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