Black Bean Salsa

Yup. This sure is just another recipe for black bean salsa.

If you want a recipe for light, healthy, summery black bean salsa, there are about 2,582,344 of them on the internet. Not that I’m counting, or anything. Here you have number 2,582,345 but it is just as fast, easy and delicious as all the other ones.  Also, this one seems to go over insanely well at potlucks and back yard barbecues.  The best boon to this salsa, however, is perhaps that the striking lack of originality in this recipe will limit my verbal meandering in the introduction, so I’ll finally just get to the meat of the matter. Or in this case, the salsa.

Let’s hear it for canned beans!

Black Bean Salsa

Makes appx 3.5 cups

  • 1 can (19 oz) black beans
  • 2 ripe roma tomatoes
  • 1 yellow hot pepper
  • 1 large (or 2 small) jalapeno pepper
  • 1/2 sweet red pepper
  • 1/4 large red onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 lime (2 tbsp juice + 1 tsp zest)
  • 1 tbsp light oil *
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • handful fresh cilantro (1/2 cup coarsely chopped)
  • salt and pepper, to taste

* I do dearly love olive oil, but the flavor is too strong for this salsa. Choose a lighter oil like safflower or grapeseed.

Puree the garlic using a rasp, garlic press, or pounding it to a pulp.  Grate in the lime zest and squeeze in a generous 2 tablespoons of juice. If your limes are scrawny and dry, you might want to use two. Whisk this together with the oil and cumin before seasoning lightly with salt.

Drain and rinse the can of black beans.  Core the tomatoes and discard the pulp.  Finely chop the tomato flesh and half red pepper into a small 1/4″ dice.

Remove the ribs and seeds from the jalapeno(s) and hot yellow pepper.  Finely mince the chili peppers and the red onion.

Pour the dressing over the beans and vegetables.  Toss to combine, and season to taste with more salt and pepper if you wish. Remember, beans love salt the way that limes love tequila. Right before serving, coarsely chop the cilantro and stir it into the mix.

Serve the black bean salsa with plenty of hearty corn or tortilla chips on the side to get some good scooping action going on.

Speaking of tortilla chips, I don’t know about you but I have a history of failed attempts to make simple baked tortilla chips. You wouldn’t think it would be difficult, right? After all, flavored pita chips are a breeze!  Sadly, I have made baked tortilla chips that shrank in and puffed out so they ended up as thick as soda crackers, they’ve ended up burnt or chewy and bland, or they’ve been so greasy that foregoing the deep fryer was an effort in sadness.  This time, I finally got them right.  Here’s what I did:

  • Preheat oven to 350ºF with racks in the center
  • Brush one side only of each store-bought whole wheat tortilla (not that it matters) with safflower oil
  • Sprinkle on salt and your favorite sweet-hot barbecue rub (I used pork carnita rub, minus the orange zest)
  • Bake for 16-18 minutes until crispy and curled up at the edges; golden but not browned

Something so healthy and easy has no right to taste so good, but isn’t that true of all fresh salsa? A handful of ingredients, a few minutes of dicing and you have yourself a party dip. Or, you know, 2,582,345 of them.

  • M

    Well, I’m ruined for lunch now.

  • olga

    Interesting, I’ve never had black beans in salsa raw before only cooked with spice. looks good want to eat some now yum!!

  • Susan

    This salsa is beyond delicious. Such recipes as these prove what I have always known; that Tina is a goddess and a genius.

  • lo

    OH, yeah. Give me black beans and a squirt of lime in the springtime. Might even make me forget it’s rainy & dreary outside.

  • Sally Jackson

    You keep coming up with the most delicious recipes, and this one is simply addictive. It was great with the grilled spare ribs for supper the other night and even with a tuna sandwich for lunch. Let me count the ways . . .