Brazillian Black Bean and Red Pepper Salad
2 to 3 cups of regular dried black beans 1 large red pepper, diced 1 large green pepper, diced 2 to 3 finely chopped carrots 2 to 3 cloves of garlic 1/2 C. finely chopped fresh cilantro or fresh parsley 1/2 C. rice wine vinegar 3 Tablespoons water 1 Tablespoon of ground cumin (more if desired) dash of hot red pepper flakes dash of salt (if desired)
Pick through beans and soak overnight with plenty of water tocover. In the morning, drain the beans and add fresh water to cover.
Place beans over heat. Add one clove of garlic and bring to a moderate boil. Cook beans for approximately 30-45 minutes until beans are tender but NOT SOFT and mushy. The beans should be firm enough to hold their shape. Keep a close eye on their progress.
When beans are cooked to the tender stage, remove garlic and drain. Place warm beans in a large serving bowl.
While beans are cooking, chop and dice the red and green peppers and carrots. Add them to the beans. In a 2-cup measuring cup (or something similiar),combine the rice wine vinegar, water, cumin and other ingredients. Mince the remaining garlic and add it to the rice vinegar dressing. Stir well to combine ingredients.
Toss the bean and vegetable mixture withtherice wine vinegar dressing. Cover and refrigerate for a few hours before serving. I think tossintg warm beans with dressing enhances the flavors more than if using cold beans.
The rice wine vinegar is fairly sweet and very mild. It makes an exceptionally delicious replacement for olive oil in just about any salad dressing recipe. The lemon-y cilantro adds a wonderful flavor; especially when combined with the cumin. Try to use fresh cilantro. Dired cilantro just does not have the same impact. You can substitute fresh parsley if desired.
Serve the bean salad over rice and spoon a little dressing over it. The red and green peppers add beautiful color and contrast nicely with the black beans and cilantrol. Together it makes for an attractive presentation on the plate.
NOTES: This is a very flavorful and easy salad to make. The cilantro and the cumin combine to make a tasty dish. It is easy to make and stays in the refrigerator for about 5 days.