Black Bean, Mango and Avocado Salad
- Servings: 6 as a side, 4 as a main course.
This recipe was inspired by my friend and trainer Rafael Ulloa talking to me about his mother's cooking. This chopped salad is one of his favorites, combining the sweetness of mango with tangy tomatoes and lime juice, and the creamy complexity of black beans and avocado. A little jalopeño adds heat. Rafael told me he likes to add pieces of roast chicken to this salad but it could also be delicious with shrimp or flaked pieces of a favorite fish, like tilapia or sole.
The recipe suggests using cherry tomatoes. While you could easily substitute chunks of local summer tomatoes or grape tomatoes, I prefer cherry tomatoes for their juicy, bright, acidic taste.
The easiest way to dice a mango is by first slicing the sides off of the mango, cutting as close as possible to the mango's large pit. Use a knife to cut each piece into 1/2-inch cubes and then with your hands, bend the skin back, making it easy to slice off the cubes. See the photo with this recipe that shows you how.
Don't make this salad too far in advance because the salt will draw out liquid from the vegetables, making your salad watery.
- 1 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed (Goya is an excellent brand)
- 12 to 16 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- 1 medium pepper -- red, orange or yellow -- seeded and cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 1 to 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and finely minced
- 1/2 cup finely minced red onion
- 1 cup Kirby or seedless cucumbers, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 1 mango, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 avocado, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 to 2 limes, juiced to produce 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 6 to 8 grinds of black pepper
- pinch of cayenne pepper
- In a large bowl combine the ingredients for the dressing -- lime juice, extra virgin olive oil, garlic, salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Whisk to combine and dissolve the salt.
- Add to this bowl the drained black beans, sliced cherry tomatoes, diced peppers, minced jalapeño and red onion, and diced cucumbers. Toss to combine the dressing and vegetables.
- Add the cubed mango and carefully combine, taking care to not crush the soft mango pieces.
- Just before you're ready to serve the salad, add the avocado, and gently combine.
- Taste and adjust for salt and pepper and maybe some extra lime juice.
- Serve immediately.