Last night I served seafood tacos for dinner, and prepared this black bean and mango salad as a side. I pan-seared fajita-seasoned shrimp and we had some beautifully baked and seasoned orange roughy fillets for the tacos. And yet, Steve finished the meal with these words; “This black bean and mango salad is amazing, Lori. I think I liked it even better than the tacos themselves. You need to blog this recipe next”.
Keep in mind, seafood tacos are right at the top of the list of Steve’s favorite meals. And I like to think I make some pretty delicious shrimp and fish tacos. But in 2007, we took a family Spring Break vacation to Cozumel with Steve’s parents, and the food we ate while there made such an impression on Steve that he talks about it to this day. He’s always loved Mexican food, and we were living in Texas at the time, so he experienced plenty of TexMex cuisine (which we all love). But the food in Cozumel was so different! It was full of fresh ingredients, seasoned with bright flavors, and just so appealing! Steve fell in love with the tastes. And he insists this salad tastes like Cozumel to him.
So, here you go, folks. The simplest of simple, yet wonderfully delicious black bean and mango salad. Because Monday’s are often days when Steve offices from home, I warned him that meant he would be eating this salad two days straight. With no hesitation, he promptly replied “ok!”.
so let’s put together this black bean and mango salad
Almost all the effort towards making this salad goes into chopping the ingredients. And that’s not much. There is no cooking, as the recipe calls for canned beans. So, this meal comes together fast! It’s a perfect option for busy week nights. Or a side for a Mexican meal. Or for something to eat with tortilla chips, or…you get the point. It is a very versatile dish.
One tip. Don’t use a mango that is too ripe. Not only will it be too sweet, but the flesh of a very ripe mango is terribly delicate and will get mushy in the salad.
Also, control the level of heat by either removing all of the ribs and seeds from the jalapeño, or leaving as much as you can tolerate. Your choice.
Just put the beans and all of the chopped ingredients in a large bowl. Dice the garlic and add it as well. Then add the cumin and salt to taste. Gently toss everything until the ingredients are evenly distributed.
Finally, add the olive oil and the lime juice, and toss again. Taste and adjust for seasoning. The lime juice is one of the stars of this salad, so don’t be afraid to add more if your taste test indicates it is a little shy of flavor.
Transfer to a serving platter and you are ready to go!
Told you it was fast and easy! Bet you thought I’d go on for a few more pictures, huh?
Well, maybe just one more. This was Steve’s first plate. The second was larger. Together we consumed the entire platter you saw above. Not joking. It was really, really good.
It’s amazingly tasty on it’s own.
If you want to make it just a little more decadent, drizzle it lightly with some southwestern Ranch dressing.
You can also add some fresh, crispy tortilla chips on the side.
But if you want that bright and festive taste of Cozumel, then eat it just like this. You won’t miss a thing.
- 1 15-ounce can of black beans, drained and rinsed
- ⅓ cup sweet onions, chopped small
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- ⅓ cup sweet peppers (red, yellow or orange) diced
- 1 medium mango, chopped (about 1 cup)
- 1 large jalapeño,diced (for more heat, keep some ribs and seeds, otherwise remove)
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- ¼ teaspoon cumin
- 1 small garlic clove, diced
- 3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 lime, juiced
- First, mix all the chopped ingredients in a large bowl and toss.
- Next, add the olive oil, cumin, and salt.
- Then toss again.
- Finish by squeezing the lime juice directly into the salad mix and toss well.
- Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed.
- Transfer to a platter and serve.