A Southern Grace: gray area

June 13, 2013

gray area


It's not all black and white, folks.

As side dishes go, nothing, and I mean nothing, tops this recipe for me when considering colors, flavors, healthfulness, textures, and ease of preparation. I make it all the time, and I was surprised to find that I hadn't shared it with you before now! This is an extra special version, as the black beans were rehydrated with some white beans, and those white beans quickly and unexpectedly turned gray*--what fun!

*This leads one to wonder--if you rehydrate kidney beans or red beans with white beans, will you get pink beans? Worth a try!

In the past, I've called this confetti black bean salad or salsa, thanks to the rainbow of peppers, sunny corn, and verdant cilantro. Many cooks (and "cooks") are fond of saying that we eat first with our eyes, and if that's the case, one could fill up on this visual alone.

The textures are wonderful too--meaty beans and crunchy peppers give the mouth a lot of satisfaction. The dressing is extremely light, so your summer diet need not suffer. Plus, assuming you aren't a cilantro-hater, the taste is incredible. Final positive attribute of this recipe: It comes together in no less than 20 minutes, not counting rehydration time or a bit of a stint in the fridge to marry flavors.

Who knew beans could be so much fun?

Gray Bean Salsa
Serves about 12 if they like it, 8 if they love it
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained, or 4 cups rehydrated black and white gray beans
  • 1 (17-ounce) package frozen whole kernel corn, thawed, or 2 cups cut off the cob
  • 1/2 each of 1 red bell pepper, 1 yellow bell pepper, and 1 orange bell pepper, or some combination thereof, chopped
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • Juice and zest of one lime
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
Mix all ingredients thoroughly in a large bowl. Cover and chill overnight. Taste and add salt, pepper, or more lime juice as necessary.


Jeff @ Cheeseburger said...

This dish is incredibly delicious and healthy at the same time.

Joanne said...

Lol I was wondering what grey you were referring to since everything here is pretty colorful! Too weird about the white beans...they are so impressionable.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

A scrumptiously colorful side dish.



Caroline Taylor said...

I love the colours in this, great with a nice bit of toasted pitta!

José Manuel said...

Se ve una ensalada de lujo.


lisa is cooking said...

It's looks like summery fun in a bowl! And, I love all colors of beans, even grey. I have to try the pink theory!

Beth said...

Pink beans - I love it! That truly is a beautiful salsa.

Blond Duck said...

I've had the same thing happen to pinto beans when I cook them with black.

Nava K said...

Nice and I am so trilled over this salsa. Certainly healthy, also great for munching in front of tv.

This weekend, this salad will be on my table.

Choc Chip Uru @ Go Bake Yourself said...

Black and white salad is so delicious :D


Anonymous said...

actually i always separate any colored bean with the wite cannellini bean,
lovely humble post my friend
the grey bean sounds fancy is i use the black, white amd the"grey"

Unknown said...

What a vibrant and healthy salad! I love southwestern flavors, they's just something so fresh and warm about them. Sounds wonderful :)

Carolyn Jung said...

Where's a fish taco when I need one? LOL

I Wilkerson said...

This looks like a great CSA pot luck dish. I have bringing my old standard for far too long!

Nutmeg Nanny said...

This looks incredibly flavorful, I am loving this recipe :)