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Super Summer Side Dish: Black Bean Salad

I am always on the lookout for new side dishes to try, particularly in the summertime. I want to try to make as many things I can without having to use the stove very much or even at all if I can avoid it when it is really hot. I came across this recipe on the Food Network website and saw that it would be good to go along with just about anything from burgers and hot dogs to pork or fish. I actually made it yesterday as a side dish for some Italian sausage and peppers.

Black Bean Salad

1 small garlic clove
Pinch salt, plus 2 teaspoons
1 1/2 lines, juiced (about 3 tablespoons)
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup fresh corn kernels (from about 2 ears)
1 orange or red bell pepper, diced
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped (about 1/4 cup)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 small avocado, halved, seeded and diced
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, leaves and stems

To make the dressing, smash the garlic clove, sprinkle it with a pinch of the salt, and, with the flat side of a large knife, mash and smear the mixture to create a coarse paste. Whisk the garlic paste, lime juice, salt and chili powder together in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in the olive oil, starting with a few drops and then adding the rest in a steady stream.

For the salad, cook the corn, bell pepper and onions in the olive oil until beginning to brown over medium-high heat in a large skillet, about 5 minutes. Toss in the black beans and cook until warmed through, about 2 minutes. Add the dressing and toss to coat evenly. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Remove the skillet from the heat and gently fold in the tomatoes, avocado, and cilantro. Serve warm or at room temperature.

I did change the recipe around just slightly and added a little bit more corn. I did not have any cherry tomatoes on hand but I did have other tomatoes so I just seeded and sliced one up and used that.I also had some black beans on hand that were not in a can but had been originally dried. They had already been soaked so I didn’t have to do that process however, I did add a little bit of water to the skillet once I added the beans and covered the skillet for about 10 minutes to soften up the beans more. I think it tasted just fine using the dried beans, but it will add a little more time to the recipe. I love the flavor of the lime and the garlic in the dressing and what it adds to the flavor of the vegetables and I think this would be a great side dish to use throughout the summer. As I said, I served this with the baked Italian sausage, peppers and onions recipe that I had posted on here recently.

That’s all I have for today. Check back again in over the next few days to see what other recipes I use. I do have some things in mind that I hope to get to over the next few days and when I do my shopping this weekend I’ll see what I get and picked up to make for the coming week. Keep checking back and see what comes along. Until next time, enjoy the rest of your day, and enjoy your meal!

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Posted by on June 7, 2013 in Cooking, Side Dishes

 

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Mother’s Day Dinner, Part 3- Baked Sausage and Peppers

For the third part of the dinner I made on Mother’s Day, we decided to make something for those who may not be into pasta and tomato sauce as much. I had bought some Italian sausage and was intending just to make plain sausage and peppers and have some rice to serve with it on the side. There’s not much different you can really do with sausage and peppers, but I thought it would be much better, cleaner and maybe even healthier if possible if I did the whole thing in the oven. It’s quick, it’s easy and if you use a disposable foil pan, fast clean-up too.

Baked Italian Sausage and Peppers

1 1/2 pounds sweet or hot Italian sausage links (about 6 links)

2 large onions, sliced

1 red bell pepper, sliced

1 yellow bell pepper, sliced

1 orange bell pepper, sliced

2 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Slice the onions and peppers, seeding the peppers along the way.Place the onions and peppers in the bottom of a large 9 x 13 baking dish. Toss the peppers and onions with the two tablespoons of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Top the vegetables with the Italian sausage links. Prick each sausage several times with a sharp knife or the tines of a fork on the bottom and the top of each link. This will help to release some of their juices to flavor the peppers and onions.

Cover the pan with foil and bake in the oven for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove the foil so that the sausages can brown and bake for another 20 minutes. Turn the sausages over to brown on the opposite side and bake for another 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve.

That’s all there is to it. I actually added some extra pepper and onions on top of the sausages when I first put them in the pan to get even more flavor. You could certainly serve these on hoagie rolls as a traditional sandwich if you wanted to go that route. You could even do the same recipe on your grill if you wanted, perhaps getting some grill marks on the sausage before you put them in the pan to cover them. Steaming them for that 20 minutes really helps to release some flavor and then browning them for 40 minutes makes them perfect and crisp, just the way I like it. Everyone loved them and there were no leftovers at all and they were taken so fast I never got a picture of them!

I still have a couple of recipes leftover from the Mother’s Day meal that I will post tomorrow. Work kind of slowed me down this week so I didn’t get to post as often as I would like,  but tomorrow we will have the wilted spinach salad with warm bacon vinaigrette and the tomato and mozzarella. Very simple and easy recipes for both of them. I am also working on the meals for next week so I hope to get to them as well. Keep checking back and see what we come up with. Until next time, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

 
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Posted by on May 17, 2013 in Cooking, Dinner, One Pot Meals, Pork, Sandwiches, Sausage

 

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