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