November 27, 2011

Black bean salad

It's been a hectic weekend with lots of packing, organising, planning. Fun times, but exhausting as well. I had clearly been in denial of how much stuff we had actually managed to accumulate in 5 years. I am almost embarrassed to report that most of that 'stuff' is actually mine, and I'm the one who moved to this country 6 years a go bringing with me nothing but a 20kg suitcase! I am not even big on shopping (I promise!), but during the last couple of years I have managed to more than quadruple the amount of kitchen items and props. Even though I keep telling myself (and others) it's all because of the work I do, it is still rather alarming. All I can do is hope that our new home is bigger than I dare to think.

The good news this weekend was a sunny Sunday after almost a full week of rain. It was making me somewhat worried about the survival of my little kitchen garden, but hopefully today's sun will fix the extra moistness in the soil. In the midst of all the packing and scattered boxes, I managed to put together this tasty number. I adore black beans and wish good raw black beans were more readily available here in Sydney. I don't normally like to use canned beans because I rather enjoy the slight crunch of beans that are cooked until just tender. This time, however, tinned beans had to do, and it was probably better anyway so I could cut down the time spend on this salad. I love the combination of these flavours, and really recommend you try this. But please don't swap pink peppercorns to black pepper (or anything else). They really go so well with all the ingredients!

I must also recommend you make double batch of this. I thought I would get away with just one, but ended up having to make another batch straight after as I had scoffed most of the salad before it even got to the table.

Black bean salad
(serves 2-4)

2 x 400g tin black beans (please use raw beans, soaked and cooked until tender, if you can!), drained and rinsed well
1 red capsicum/bell pepper, chopped into small cubes
2 zucchinis/courgettes, chopped into small cubes
1 avocado, chopped into small cubes
zest of 1 preserved lemon wedge (my recipe here)
2 green onions, finely sliced
1 tablespoon pink peppercorns, slightly crushed
2 tablespoons flaxseed oil
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
big handful of fresh mint, finely chopped

1. Combine all the ingredients. Refrigerate for 30 minutes for the flavours to develop, if you have the patience. I didn't.

PS. Today also marks 8 weeks since I started my sugar-free challenge! Woot, I did it! 
I'll be recapping my experiences and thoughts a bit later this week, so stay tuned!