Black Bean, Green Bean and Sweet Potato Salad with Cilantro Vinaigrette

When you bake some sweet potatoes, do a few extra. If you have cooked black beans (in your freezer, or canned) on hand, this is super simple to pull together.

Green beans add color and texture, and frankly, the combination is too good not to make! Bonus: You’ll have leftover vinaigrette, which will be delicious incorporated into your next meal that includes grains, meat, eggs, or roasted vegetables.

This hearty salad is perfect when paired with a simply cooked steak.

Makes 4 to 6 servings

3 cups (two 15-ounce cans) cooked black beans, rinsed and drained well
4 green onions, whites and most of green, thinly sliced
1 ½ – 2 cups cooked green beans, chilled and cut in 1-inch lengths 
2 large sweet potatoes, baked, peeled and cut into small chunks
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 - 3/4 cup Cilantro Vinaigrette (recipe below)

Combine the black beans, green onions and green beans in a large bowl. Toss with a generous 1/2 cup of the dressing. Add the sweet potatoes and toss gently to keep the tender sweet potato pieces intact. Taste and correct the seasonings with salt, pepper, and additional dressing if desired.


Cilantro Vinaigrette

1 bunch cilantro, leaves and stems
Scant 1/3 cup cider vinegar
1/3 cup honey
4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper
Dash or two or three of Tabasco or similar hot sauce
Juice of 1 lime
Generous 1/2 cup olive oil

Combine cilantro, vinegar, honey, garlic, salt and pepper, hot sauce and lime juice in a food processor fitted with the blade. Pulse in bursts until  smooth scraping the sides of the bowl a few times.

With the motor running, slowly add the oil until fully incorporated and emulsified. Taste the vinaigrette and adjust the seasoning until you are pleased with the balance. Pour into a jar and keep in the refrigerator for up to one week.

4-6 servings black beans cilantro green beans Hearty Salad steak on the side Summer sweet potato vinagrette

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