This summer black bean salad is a remake of a black bean salad from my Fitter, Firmer, Faster book, with the main difference being that I used peaches instead of mangoes. I had intended to make the dish with mangoes but realized I had forgotten to buyf them so I decided to try the perfectly ripe peaches I had on hand instead. The peaches actually tasted better.
Although this salad is a salad in the sense that all of the ingredients are left at room temperature—and most definitely no colder—it tastes like summer in a dish. There really is something intensely summery about peaches and they pair perfectly with black beans, both in appearance and taste. Mixing the avocado with the peaches contributes a buttery lightness and the jalapeno adds just the right kick of heated excitement. It is the perfect black bean salad for any casual summer gathering, especially good for a picnic when packed in jelly jars for individual servings, or the ideal starter to a full-blown summer al fresco dinner party.
Buy the Very Best Peaches You Can Get Your Hands On…
High summer is the season for buying the best peaches. Peaches are consistently on the Environmental Working Group’s “Dirty Dozen” for the twelve most contaminated fruits and vegetables with the highest pesticide residues, so it is absolutely worth going the extra organic mile when buying peaches.
Unfortunately, perfect peaches are not easy to get your hands on because tree-ripened peaches are soft and easily bruised and they don’t ship very well at all. The best place to get perfect peaches is your own backyard or a roadside stand/ farmer’s market. And then you want to eat them right away!
If you can’t find perfect organic peaches then substitute a firm mango instead. It will still taste good and look amazing. But the peaches will taste even better.
Summer Black Bean Salad with Peaches
- 2 firm organic peaches, finely chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
- 1/4 red onion, finely diced
- 1 jalapeno pepper, seeds removed, diced
- 1/2 cup finely hopped fresh cilantro
- 1 firm avocado, chopped
- 1 can (15.5 ounces) BPA-free black beans (such as Eden Organic brand), rinsed and drained
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- Unrefined sea salt, to taste
- 1 firm avocado, chopped
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1. In a large glass or ceramic bowl, combine the chopped peaches, red bell pepper, onion and jalapeno. Lightly toss. Gently stir in the cilantro and black beans. Season with cumin and salt to taste. Fold in the avocado and drizzle with olive oil and lime juice. Let sit for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.