Black Bean, Mango, and Apple Salad

Black Bean, Mango, and Apple Salad

By Charmian Christie (The Messy Baker)

Tell me I can’t have something and I’ll immediately want it. Due to the pandemic, I can’t see my friends right now. I can’t go out to dinner. So logically, all I can think about is going out to dinner with my friends. One of the last times we were out, we went to a Mexican restaurant where the salad was the star of the meal.

This Black Bean, Mango, and Apple Salad is a blend of inspiration and pragmatism. The restaurant dish inspired me while my pantry kept it real. The original recipe called for jicama, a Mexican tuber, but green apples make a good substitute. I added corn to use up the partial bag in the freezer, but the original salad had only mango. I don’t remember if avocado played a role, but I had some ripe ones on hand, and so, they make an appearance here.

I know grocery trips are not what they used to be, so feel free to make this dish your own. I hope it provides some inspiration to dive into your pantry, grab a tin of beans, and create something you’ll want to share with friends and family once the lockdown is lifted.

Black Bean, Mango, and Apple Salad

Serves 6 to 8

Spiced Pumpkin Seeds
1 tablespoon olive or avocado oil
1 cup raw pepitas
1 tablespoon chili powder
generous pinch sea salt

Citrus Crema
1 cup sour cream
1 clove garlic, grated on a zester
Zest of 2 limes
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup orange juice
Generous pinch sea salt

Salad
1 can (19 oz / 540ml) black beans, rinsed and drained (2 cups)
1 cup corn, cooked
1 cup mango, chopped (fresh or frozen and defrosted)
1 large red pepper, chopped
1 large Granny Smith apple
1 lime
1/4 cup finely chopped shallot
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 avocados, sliced

Spiced Pumpkin Seeds
In a medium skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add pepitas, chili powder, and salt. Sauté, stirring constantly, until the seeds begin to snap and crackle. Remove from heat and set aside.

Citrus Crema
In a medium bowl, mix sour cream, garlic, lime zest, lime juice, orange juice and salt. Set aside.

Salad
In a large bowl, place the black beans, corn, mango, and red pepper.

Peel and chop the apple, placing the pieces in a small bowl. Halve the lime and squeeze the juice  from both halves over the apple pieces to prevent them from browning. Toss to coat.

Add the apple pieces, shallot, and chopped cilantro to the bean mixture. Toss and plate. Serve topped with a dollop of crema, a few slices of avocado and 2 tablespoons spiced pumpkin seeds.