Fireworks Black Bean and Mango Salad is so quick and easy, it barely qualifies as a recipe. But it explodes with pizzazz, pairing the sweet summer burst mango (let’s hear it for fresh, seasonal and local — summer means mango season in South Florida) with a zing of chile. Black beans add fiber for fullness, and protein because that’s what your body wants. Besides, everything works with basic black. All this and no fat, no oil, no kidding.
I created this recipe a few years ago to bring to a Fourth of July party. I wasn’t planning to, but that day, the hostess called and said, “Hey, are you still vegan?” Um, yeah, now and forever. The party spread turned out to be not vegan-friendly, and the hostess asked if I could bring something that was. So with little warning, and using what I had in the kitchen —because, shopping? No, thanks — I came up with a winner.
I like to think I have some kitchen smarts, but the win here came from the ingredients.
Fireworks Black Bean and Mango Salad combines tender, earthy-flavored black beans, sweet, juicy mango, tart lime, sweet and hot peppers, soft, fresh greens, and buttery toasted pepitas — pumpkin seeds — offer healthy fats and fun crunch. It’s a no-cook wonder that can sit out on a picnic table for hours without wilting.
Oil-free fans, this is your moment. And even if you’re not oil-free, this is your salad. It’s naked — in a sexy way, I hope — but I mean it doesn’t have a real dressing. It doesn’t need it. The cumin, lime juice, and mango create the flavor, and the mango also provides the right amount of moisture that holds everything together. These flavors, textures and colors come together like a burst of fireworks. Like America itself.
- This sturdy salad holds up in the heat, so you can serve chilled or more towards room temperature. Good either way.
- No mango? Papaya is a perfectly good substitute.
- Fireworks Black Bean and Mango Salad makes terrific tacos, just mound it on your favorite tortillas.
- Leftovers will keep covered and refrigerated overnight. Alas the greens will have wilted, but the flavors will be intact. Pour off any extra mango juice that’s accumulated, fluff with a few fresh greens, and enjoy.
How to Make
- In a large bowl, gently mix together jalapeno, diced red pepper and celery.
- Add the black beans and combine well.
- Add the cumin and the lime juice and toss to coat.
- Just before serving, add the mangos and chopped cilantro. Season to taste.
- Place atop fresh, tender greens and serve at once, garnishing with toasted pepitas, if you like (and you will).
Fireworks Black Bean and Mango Salad
- 1 jalapeno minced
- 1 red pepper diced
- 2 ribs celery chopped fine
- 2 15- ounce cans black beans rinsed and drained (or 4 cups cooked black beans)
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- juice of 1/2 lime (about a tablespoon)
- 2 mangos peeled and diced
- 1 bunch cilantro chopped
- sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup toasted pepitas pumpkin seeds for garnish, optional but adding fabulous crunch, not to mention goodly amounts of manganese and magnesium
- 3-4 cups fresh greens like spinach arugula or frisee
- In a large bowl, gently mix together jalapeno, diced red pepper and celery. Add the black beans and combine well.
- Add the cumin and the lime and toss to coat.
- Just before serving, add the mangos and chopped cilantro. Season to taste. Place atop greens and serve at once, garnishing with toasted pepitas, if you like (and you will).
More Summer Salads
Going for the Gold Quinoa, as seen on Jane Unchained TV.
Beet, Celery, and Arugula Salad — or Clean out the Fridge Salad
Panzanella — oh, what you can do with ripe tomatoes and old bread