Thursday, July 30, 2009

Mango black bean salsa

This is super yummy and works equally well as a salsa (especially with salty blue corn chips) or as a topping for grilled fish, chicken or pork--kind of the perfect summertime relish. Katie had just given me some tomatoes and mystery peppers from her bountiful garden, I had dried black beans in the pantry and a mango that was about to tip over into too-ripeness. Phil had been talking about this stacked black bean+tropical fruit+chicken dish that his mom makes, and it sounded like a good flavor combo, so I was like OK, gonna steal that idea and make it in salsa form right this second because for once I have everything I need on hand already. Who knows when it might happen again?I covered about 1 cup of black beans in water and brought to boil, then simmered until tender for about an hour and a half. Obviously you can use canned black beans instead if you prefer (drain and rinse them well beforehand) but this was all about me making this entirely from ingredients on hand so I just cooked up the dried beans that were collecting dust on my pantry shelf. When they were cooked through, I drained them and let them sit in about 1/2 cup of orange juice while I prepped the rest of my ingredients. Black beans and citrus are like a match made in heaven. Meanwhile I chopped up two beautiful roma tomatoes from Katie's garden and one reddish funky pepper (she thinks two pepper types--sweet and hot--cross-pollinated in her garden resulting in this tasty lovechild). You can use a serrano pepper if you like the heat plus a small red bell for sweetness. Actually, any kind of pepper from the farmer's market will be good here--this is a flexible, improvisational kind of salsa after all. I also diced up 1 small sweet onion and 1 small cucumber for extra crunch. Add in 1 diced ripe mango.I added all these veggies to my black beans in orange juice, plus 2 tablespoons minced cilantro, the juice from 1 lemon, 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 teaspoon salt and mixed it all up. If your fruit is very soft, you can add in the diced mango at the very last minute instead. Just be sure to combine once gently to avoid pulverizing any super ripe mango chunks.The first night, I put it over grilled pork but like I said, it's great for fish or chicken too. It actually mostly got eaten as a salsa at a picnic the next day and for lunch throughout the week, so as you can see, this is a good thing to make in a big batch.

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