Mexican Black Bean and Berry Salad with Avocado Lime Dressing

JalapeƱos are the most popular chile peppers in the US. This is probably due to the availability and versatility of the chile. JalapeƱos have a balanced combination of flavor and heat. The demand for these have caused breeders to develop a broad range of varieties.

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Avocado-Lime Dressing:
1 avocado
1/4 cup lime juice (juice of about 3 limes)
1 cup cilantro
1/2 tsp black pepper
Salt to taste
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 jalapeno (seeds and stems discarded)

Black Beans Salad:
1 cup black berries (or blueberries or raspberries)
2 1/2 cups black beans (2-8 oz. cans, drained and rinsed)
1 cup corn (fresh, steamed, or frozen thawed)
2 cups cherry tomatoes (halved)
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
2 cups baby romaine
1 cup cilantro (small bunch, chopped)

1. To make dressing, in a food processor jar, process jalapeno, avocado, lime juice, cilantro, black pepper, olive oil, and 1/4 tsp salt. Make a smooth dressing, then taste and adjust salt and black pepper. Set aside.

2. To assemble salad, in a large salad serving bowl, add chopped romaine, cherry tomato, corn, black beans, black berries, half of pumpkin seeds, and chopped cilantro. Pour dressing over and gently toss to combine.

Notes: You can use fresh corn steamed or fire roasted, or frozen corn soaked in boiling water for 5 minutes.

3. Garnish with remaining pumpkin seeds. Serve chilled or at room temperature.