I receive a terrific catalog in the mail from the Penzey spice people and they typically have some very tasty recipes. This is not a commercial for them, but in my opinion, if you want that little something that makes a big difference, try some really fresh spices in your cooking. The flavors are much more vibrant.
Their last catalog featured a pepper bean salad that I couldn't wait to try the moment I saw it, plus I had some fantastic Smoked Serrano Sea Salt that I had won from Girlichef when she was having a giveaway. I felt this would be the perfect recipe to try it out in and I was right. This is one mighty powerful salt! It's nothing like that wimpy stuff you probably have in your salt shaker right now. The smoked serrano gives it a little kick and the salt flavor is assertive. For me (a spice wimp) a little goes a long way, but I liked it!
This pepper bean salad (also called Texas Caviar, I believe) has a ton of flavor, texture, color, goodness. There is a fiesta going on in your mouth when you eat this. You will want to do the tango and the cha cha when you eat this.
Pepper Bean Salad
1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 15-ounce can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 15-ounce can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 15-ounce bag frozen super sweet niblet corn or 2 cups fresh corn-on-the-cob kernels
1 red onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon Aleppo pepper (I swapped this out for 1 teaspoon of the Serrano sea salt)
1 teaspoon ground pepper
1 teaspoon sea salt (see above)
1/4 cup canola oil (I use grape seed oil)
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
2 limes, juiced (about 1/4 to 1/3 cup)
1 1/2 teaspoon sugar (my addition)
In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except those for the dressing. (After I rinsed and drained the beans, I left them in a colander so they could continue to drain while I cut up the vegetables and then added them to my bowl.)
In a jar with a tight fitting lid, combine all the dressing ingredients and shake well. Just before serving add the dressing to the salad and mix gently, but thoroughly.
Now, I don't like cilantro. I want to; I think I should like it; and I buy it with the expectation that I'm going to like it this time. I shopped up maybe a tablespoon of it as fine as I could get it, and added it to the salad. Know what? Still can't stand the stuff. Now I have to go through the salad and pick it out speck by speck.
Serves many. I'm going to be eating this for lunch next week, I think; but it's so good (except for that pesky cilantro), I'm looking forward to this! I think it can only get better as it sits. YUM!