Saturday, April 23, 2005

Black Bean, Corn, Pepper Salad


1 1/2 c. dried black beans
4 tsp. salt
4 poblano peppers
1 tbsp. cumin seeds
1/4 c. sherry wine vinegar
1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 c. olive oil
2 c. corn kernels, fresh, defrosted or drained canned
18-24 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
6 scallions, thinly sliced

Cover the beans with water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and let stand covered for an hour. Drain the beans and transfer to a large saucepan and add enough fresh water to cover by at least 3 inches and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, for 30 minutes. Stir in 2 teaspoons of salt and continue cooking until the beans are just tender, 35-45 minutes longer; drain.

Meanwhile, roast the poblanos under a broiler as close to the heat as possible until the skins are lightly charred. Seal in a paper bag and let steam for 10 minutes. Rub away the charred skin. Stem, seed and cut into 3/4 inch squares.

In a small dry skillet, toast the cumin seeds over moderately high heat, tossing until fragrant and golden brown, about 1 minute. Bring in a spice mill.

In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, cumin seeds, black pepper and remaining 2 teaspoons salt. Slowly whisk in the oil.

In a large bowl, combine the black beans, poblano peppers and corn. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss well. The recipe can be prepared to this point 24 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Let return to room temperature before proceeding. Add the tomatoes and scallions to the salad, toss well and season to taste. Serve at room temperature. For cilantro fans chop the leaves and stir into the salad before serving.


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