Monday, May 5, 2008

A fresh, satisfying salad for a spring or summer* day

I forget how I came across this recipe, as I don't often look through Cooking Light. It's a delightful salad of black beans, wild rice, mango, herbs, and citrus. I've made it twice now, once measuring the ingredients (more or less) carefully and once just throwing a bunch of stuff together without much regard for proportions, and even omitting a couple of ingredients. The latter version came out better, so that's what I'm posting here. The original recipe can be found here. I think it's best served at room temperature or slightly chilled, and with the herbs not-too-finely chopped. Like many salads of this type, it improves with a day or two in the fridge.

Mango, Black Bean, and Wild Rice Salad
Serves 5-6 as a side dish.

1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
1-2 cups cooked wild or brown rice
1 mango, peeled, pitted, and chopped into 1/2" pieces
zest and juice of one lime
2-3 scallions, finely chopped
1 medium handful cilantro, chopped
6-7 medium mint leaves, chopped
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and toss to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper, but be sure to taste it before you begin seasoning it. If your beans and/or rice already have salt in them, you probably won't need much (if any). Serve immediately or chill until (just before) needed.

* Or whenever you can get good fresh mango.


Brave Sir Robin said...

Wow, talk about timing.

Mangos are about the only thing worth buying in my store right now.

(That is an entire rant post in and of itself. I mean, hello, it's May??)

That does sound good. I love black beans. Hmmmm.

How are you?

Anne said...

How odd--and frustrating! Hope things look up in the produce department soon, but meanwhile, enjoy the mangos while you can! I love them sliced and tossed with some lime juice and zest (and maybe a bit of chopped fresh mint), and then served over vanilla ice cream. Yum!

I'm doing pretty well. A little frustrated right now with clothing manufacturers. I'm coming to the conclusion that clothing manufacturers think that people who wear a size 10 are simply size 4 or size 6 people + 20 pounds, and design/cut their clothes accordingly. I suppose it makes sense from an economical point of view, as they probably have more customers who really are around the same height but within a 10-15 pound range than they have very short or very tall customers.

Still, it leaves us tall folks high and dry. It's almost impossible for me to find pants that are long enough (my jeans are not just "long," but "extra long"), or shirts that are long enough in the arms and broad enough in the shoulders without being cavernous around the middle. I've decided to make lemonade out of the lemons, though, and learn to tailor my clothes--even (eventually) make my own from scratch. Of course, tailoring won't work on all pieces, but at least it gives me a bit more wiggle room.

Bee said...


This sounds just like something I want to eat right now. You describe it as a side dish, though . . . so what would you serve with it?

We have so much mint in our herb garden . . . I never realize that mint is "thuggish" (my gardener's words). It is going to be transplanted (and hopefully contained) in a pot.

I found your clothing rant very interesting! I thought that they were now making a lot of clothing lines for people who are blessed in the height department. ?? Being able to make your own (anything)is really cool, too.

Bee said...

I forgot to mention . . .
go to Bakerina's site (it's on my blog roll) and check out the cashew cookies. They are the most delicious cookies . . . words cannot express. Also, they are quick and easy.

If you are a cashew lover, you HAVE to try this recipe.

Brave Sir Robin said...

Mmmm cashews . . .

Anne, I feel your pain. If I ever get around to writing the short male post that's in my head, you'll know what I mean.

I have to add 10-20 dollars to the cost of anything I buy so it can be hemmed. If I forget to pack a pair of slacks for a trip, I'm screwed. I can't go buy anything off the rack that fits.

Anne said...

Bee - I've actually had it both as a side dish and as a main dish. It stands pretty well on its own as a light meal, perhaps with a green salad or something like that. The original recipe suggests serving it with spicy pork tenderloin, which sounds great. Last night I nibbled on it next to some chicken enchiladas--not the traditional rice and beans, but tasty nevertheless.

As for the clothing, I've noticed an increase in the number of clothing companies making "tall" or "long" sizes, but I'm still having trouble finding things that fit properly. To be fair, I can't say that I've left no stone unturned, and perhaps I should just be more willing to put in extra time, effort, etc. to find clothes that fit. I actually do have some tweed trousers from (United Colors of) Benetton that are appropriately long... provided I'm wearing flats. :)

Thank you so much for pointing out those cookies! Cashews might be my favorite nut--no offense, dear pecans. I will try them out later this week, which will give me time a) to get cashews at the store, and b) to finish off the cornmeal cake I made on Sunday.

I also enjoyed reading Bakerina. I'd never visited her blog before, as I'm terrible about exploring other people's blogrolls, but I think I will make her one of my regular reads!

Bee said...

Anne and BSR,

I reiterate: make those cashew cookies ASAP. They are totally luscious. My kids fought tooth and nail over the last few, and thus I am making them again today on general orders.

I am going to make this salad tonight in fact. I got a great (feeling) mango at the store, and I'm psyched! I've decided to go with a chicken breast on the side. Maybe marinated in tequila and lime? BTW, Anne, if you have a spare minute go visit Just A Plane Away. She is always chatting about food, too, and I'm going to direct her to your site as well.

I LOVE Bakerina. If you ever have a spare day (say, when you are sick, but not too sick to read) have some fun going through her archives. She is a wonderful writer.

Anne said...

I got cashews on my way to work this morning, so I'm making the cookies tonight. I'm so excited! And I can't wait to peruse those great foodie blogs.

Also, back to the mint, Bee: do you ever chop it up, pour boiling water over it, and let it steep to make fresh mint tea? I love that, and look forward to having my own little potted mint plant so that I can have superb mint tea whenever I like. Putting together an herb box (and finding a place to put it) is one of my projects for a weekend in the near future.

Bee said...


I always forget to make mint tea that way. I must remember though, as I have a crazy amount of mint right now. I'd love to send you some, but I'm pretty sure that Customs would confiscate!!

Also, I wanted you to know that I did make this salad last night and Sigmund really, really liked it. I thought it was tasty, but a little bland. I've been thinking about how to spice it up a bit. What do you think? (My mango was perfect, though.)

Let me know how your cashew cookies turn out. Mine looked like brandy snaps -- a bit differnt from Bakerina's picture.

We are going to a foodie event tonight. I will report back tomorrow.

Anne said...

Yes, I suspect that Customs wouldn't like the fresh mint too much. Just as well, as I don't think the mint would like the journey very much, either! I'll just have to get a mint plant of my own.

As for the salad: adding more herbs is always an option--especially if, as you've said in the past, your cilantro/coriander isn't as vibrant as the stuff in the states. I also have rather large hands, so perhaps a "medium handful" for me is a "large handful" for others. You could also add some minced chile pepper or a bit of spicy salsa (in fact, the original recipe included a tablespoon or two of prepared salsa).

The cashew cookies are SO good!! It's amazing that any of the dough made it into the oven, but it did, and the cookies are lovely. Mine look pretty much like the ones in Bakerina's pictures: caramel-color on the edges, and paler in the middle.

What are brandy snaps?

Bee said...

Several random comments:

Have been making LOTS of mint tea with my fresh mint, and I feel like quite the idiot for not figuring this out for myself. So thanks for the tip!

Thanks, too, for the tip on spicing up the salad. Yes, I think that I would go for more herbs. Our so-called cilantro/coriander is definitely wimpier. And maybe a bit of something hot? (Sigmund and I don't have the same palate for spice.)

A brandy snap is one of those misnomers -- no brandy in it at all. It is a lacy cookie, one that can be rolled while it is still hot and made into a sort of "tube" to be filled with cream. It is buttery and crisp, but it also has a sort of chewy "give" to it -- just like these cookies.

Please read my latest post, in which I get drunk and bore the Masterchef winner about cashew cookies!!