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Black Bean Sweet Pepper Salad

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We’re getting married in less than a month and I’m trying to figure out what to serve! Yes, I’m crazy enough to be DIYing the reception (with the help of my dad). This black bean and sweet pepper salad has made the short list! Summery, pretty, and even better after it sits overnight, it seems like a winner for our casual outdoor reception. Wether or not it makes an appearance on the Big Day, I have enjoyed it at home and hope you do, too.

Black Bean and Sweet Pepper SaladTo be honest, I feel a little guilty about making this salad. Our guinea pig absolutely loves bell pepper. She hates apples, bananas, and basically everything else that’s supposed to be a super big treat for cavies, but she loves bell pepper. We bought a bag of those mini sweet peppers the other day so she could have them, but then I decided to make most of them up into this salad! Now the poor piggy is left with cut off end bits. She seems to gobble them down just as enthusiastically as “real” pieces, but I feel bad. The upshot of the story is that I used mixed mini sweet peppers for this salad, but you could use any combination of red, yellow, and/or orange peppers, including full-sized bell peppers, if you’d like. I prefer how the little ones look when cut up, but it’s up to you!

mini sweet peppersLike I said above, this salad is a great make ahead dish. It needs to sit in the fridge for at least an hour or so, but overnight is fine, too. I think this is a great side dish, but Papi Chulo thought it was pretty delicious as a very chunky topping for plantain chips he fried up. It would work well as a hearty, meatless lunch salad, too!

Black Bean Sweet Pepper Summer Salad

5.0 from 3 reviews
Black Bean Sweet Pepper Salad
  • 16 ounces of mixed sweet peppers, washed and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons of lime juice
  • Zest from one lime
  • 1 small minced shallot (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 2 tablespoons minced cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • ½ teaspoon of cumin
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper (more or less to taste)
  • 1 can of black beans, drained and thoroughly rinsed
  1. Combine the olive oil, lime juice, and lime zest in a bowl and whisk throughly to combine.
  2. Add in the shallot, cilantro, garlic, cumin, salt, and cayenne pepper and whisk.
  3. Add the peppers to the dressing and toss to coat.
  4. Carefully stir in the black beans so you don't accidentally mash them.
  5. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour (or as long as you can stand!)
  6. Toss or stir gently once again, garnish with additional cilantro, if desired, serve, and enjoy!

You can make the finished salad as hot (or not!) as you’d like by changing up the amount of cayenne pepper, or even by adding in minced jalapeño. I personally think it’s pretty delicious with feta cheese, but that seems like a bit of a cultural mix-match! No matter how you customize it, completely washing your beans is very important. Just running some water into the can won’t cut it! You’ll still have a layer of sludge at the bottom of the can. I poured the can into my RSVP colander and throughly washed them off to remove all of that slimy can liquid and then allowed the water to drain away before adding them to the mix.

Black Bean Sweet Pepper SaladWhat do you think – does this look wedding worthy? Have you ever ‘self-catered’ a reception or large party, or do you think that’s just about the craziest thing you’ve ever heard?



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{ 16 comments… add one }
  • Joybee June 24, 2014, 09:56

    This sounds delicious. I love black beans and this sounds like a great way to use them. Also a great way to add more fiber to your diet and I think b beans are a good source of iron too. A great salad. (I pinned this….seen on Tasty Tuesday)

    • natashalh June 24, 2014, 10:37

      Yes, tasty and nutritious! Thank you for pinning!

  • Cynthia June 24, 2014, 12:22

    It does look delicious! We did middle eastern nosh food at ours …. so I vote yes!

    • natashalh June 24, 2014, 12:23

      That sounds awesome! I’ve thought about having hummus, but I think we’re going with different kinds of salsa, instead.

  • Marieken June 26, 2014, 21:43

    Healthy and delicious! I think it’s awesome, to DIY your wedding (and that you’ll be doing that with your dad). And a very good idea to make dishes that you can make the day before.

    • natashalh June 27, 2014, 08:13

      He’s such an awesome cook. I’m really lucky that he’ll be helping me out! It’s a lot of work, but I’m currently very happy about my decision to DIY just about everything.

  • Paige @ Little Nostalgia June 27, 2014, 03:30

    I think this is so summery and the fact that the peppers are so bright make it would with your theme! I vote yes.

    • natashalh June 27, 2014, 08:22

      Thanks for stopping in! It’s really fun looking, and it looks great in the white serving bowls I just got. At this point I’m about 90% sure it will be on the menu.

  • Paige @ Little Nostalgia June 27, 2014, 03:31

    “Work,” not “would.” That’s what I get for commenting before I’m done with my coffee.

    • natashalh June 27, 2014, 08:12

      I understand! It’s difficult to function before then. =)

  • Shawna Williams June 27, 2014, 03:37

    Congratulations Natasha, how excited you must be. Good luck with everything. Thank you for sharing on our Four Seasons Blog Hop.

    • natashalh June 27, 2014, 08:11

      I’m very excited! It’s three weeks from tomorrow!!

  • Tasha's mom June 27, 2014, 08:59

    Looks beautiful and delicious !
    I’m so hopeless in the kitchen…

    • natashalh June 27, 2014, 09:01

      I just don’t show the failures…I made some raspberry pancakes Sunday that were tasty but pretty hideous to look at!

  • sakk July 11, 2014, 05:18

    I noticed that you have lots of yummy recipes on your page and I would like to suggest you have a look at our Top Food Blogs section here: www(dot) mytaste.com/top-food-blogs
    If you want to add your food blog for get more visit traffic to the list and have your recipes indexed on Alldishes.co.uk, all you have to do is follow the instructions here: www(dot) mytaste.com/add-your-food-blogs

    Hopefully hearing from you soon,

    Sakk Tº

    • natashalh July 11, 2014, 07:11

      Thanks so much for the info! Unfortunately, even when I replace the (dot) with the appropriate punctuation, it says the page isn’t found. It looks like a useful site, though, and I’ll look into it more after the wedding. =)

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