Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Spicy Orca Bean and Corn Salad

When I first got Orca Beans from Bob's Red Mill, my first thought was how pretty they were. The mottled black and white was striking.

My second thought was, "Gee, I wonder if those colors will stay after they're cooked." I've cooked a lot of different beans, and a lot of the spotted, mottled, and randomly colored beans tend to blur to a single color after they're cooked.

I was pleasantly surprised that the Orca Beans kept their color. The white wasn't as pristine and the black wasn't as dark after cooking, but the colors were still there.

I had considered using the beans for refried beans or bean dip or baked beans. But after they were cooked, I realized I wanted to use them in a recipe where they could be seen.

So I decided to make a chilled salad.

I'm really not really sure if I should call this a salad or a salsa, because you could use it as either. It's a nice spicy side dish, a great topping for a taco, and it's perfect perched atop a tortilla chip. The corn adds a nice sweetness, the beans add a creaminess, and the pepper adds that kick you're looking for.

Spicy Bean and Corn Salad

1 cup dried orca beans, cooked, drained, and cooled
1/4 red onion, diced
1 jalapeno pepper, finely diced
1 cucumber, peeled and diced
1 4-inch piece of celery stalk, diced
Kernels from ears cooked corn
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons lime juice
Salt and pepper, to taste

These beans cook pretty much like any other dried bean. Read the package directions, or use your favorite method.

Since I live at high altitude, dried beans take longer than normal to cook here, so my timing would not be your timing.

When you're dicing the vegetables, you want the the jalapeno to be fairly small, but the rest of the vegetables should be cut to about the same size as the corn kernels.

Combine everything in a medium bowl. Stir well. You can serve immediately, but I think it's a lot better the next day, after the lime juice has flavored everything, and it has mellowed the onions a bit, so they aren't as sharp.

Refrigerate until serving time. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Bob's Red Mill is on Facebook!