black bean confetti salad

bar stools
a week's view

Sweet speckled sunshine, that was a good week. Never underestimate the power of blinding sun, square canvas umbrellas, swing barstools and ten thousand renditions of guantanamera to turn your mind back to tabula rasa. What did I do this week? Wish I could tell you, but every time I try to recall stretches of time, they skitter off like pieces of paper in a gusty breeze, just leaving me with small, unconnected bits, like the perfectly round, golf ball sized limes everywhere, sun so bright it demands your undivided attention, long piers that end in shade and a Havana-style eatery built from worn white wood, lounge chairs so comfortable, so well thought out you could lose a day–no a week–in one and not miss it at all. And so we did. And the only thing I cooked was grilled cheese sandwiches.

this one got messy

But I ate with glee. People, I love beans. I mean, really really love them and pretty much any day I get to eat them is one step up from the days I do not. Isn’t it great to that some things can be so perfectly simple? In Mexico, with no effort, you can eat beans at least twice a day and never did I tire of them. Never were they not the first thing I dove my fork into on the plate. You’d think after several mornings of huevos rancheros and seven dinners of small, shredded meat soft tacos it’d all get old, but it did not. And now I’m home — miraculously, with sunny days in tow — and still I long for these flavors.

mango margarita
teeny tiny limes

So, when Jocelyn, my blog-sitter extraordinaire–seriously, how much fun is she?–invited us over for a rooftop barbeque this afternoon, it took me about ten seconds to decide that if I had to go a whole day without beans, vacation might actually be over, and vacation cannot actually be over, I simply will not have it, don’t make me throw a temper tantrum because, really, it’s a sure thing that I won’t elicit any sympathy from anyone… and so I made a black bean confetti salad with a cumin-lime vinaigrette (and salsa fresca, because I couldn’t resist) and we scooped it onto tortilla chips as the sun set behind Manhattan and it was delicious and vacation did not end yet. But I hear it will soon, so excuse me while I go hide for a while and don’t mind that margarita glass on the nightstand. I was just a little thirsty.

two things to scoop
black bean confetti salad

[More vacation pictures over here.]

Black Bean Confetti Salad

This works equally well as a small salad–even tossed with salad greens for more bulk–or alongside salsa fresca for scooping up with a tortilla chip.

2 15-ounce cans black beans, drained and well-rinsed
4 bell peppers, a mix of colors, chopped into a small dice
1/2 super-large or 1 medium white onion, chopped into a small dice
Juice of one lime
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 fresh chile, very thinly sliced or finely chopped or hot sauce, to taste
Optional: If you’re the kind of person who loves cilantro, it’s a great match for this salad.

Mix beans, bell peppers and white onion in a large bowl. In a separate, smaller bowl, whisk remaining ingredients into a vinaigrette. Ideally, you’ll have a 1/2 cup of dressing. Pour it over the bean mixture, toss it well and adjust seasonings to taste.

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123 comments on black bean confetti salad

  1. HA HA! Deb is home and I get to eat her amazing mixed bean salads and cake once again! Loved the bloggy-sitting–I am totally available for your next adventure, I had a lot of fun, and it inspired me to buy my new wok, which of course, after owning since Thursday, still has yet to be used. I’m hopeless! aha ha hahaha. Catch you on the flip side babe!



  2. Welcome back, Deb! You´ve been missed, though your lovely blogsitter kept us amused with her forays into the kitchen.

    Your vacations look like the perfect antidote to forget all about NYC winters and just about any other problem you might have.

  3. Why do beans always taste better in Mexico???? Must be the fantastic combination of sun and cumin….glad you enjoyed your vacation. Looks absolutely idyllic.

  4. Your vacation looks great. We had fun reading Jocelyn’s excellent food adventures while you were gone, but I’m happy you’re back tempting us with your gorgeous food once again. I hope the rude shock that you have to actually work for a living is not too horrible this morning. Welcome back!

  5. woodwinkedithink

    Hi, I am wondering what kind of camera you use and how you get such good photos of your food, taken indoors without overexposing them and using too much flash. thanks.

  6. Larry

    buenas dias, senora and welcome back. Like your “pattern” photos – glad you had a good time. Jocelyn made me laugh – in fact, went out and bought a Buitoni Chicken Dinner to try………….

  7. Welcome back! Glad you guys had a great time and are home safely. I am a bean lover myself but have never experienced them outside of my own kitchen really. The occasional refried beans at Americanized Mexican restaurant don’t count. I couldn’t imagine what they’d be like in their traditional form. As an Anthropology student, we study Mexican culture a lot and I hope to one day get down there to experience it for myself. For now, I’ll just live vicariously through your pictures…

  8. LyB

    Wow, just back from vacation and already blogging! That’s why we love you! That salad looks absolutely delicious and seeing as the sun seems to be ready to warm things up over here, I can see that salad being made in the very near future. Glad you had a great vacation, but as usual, can’t wait for your next post! ;)

  9. I was wondering if you would come back from Mexico. I know I’d want to stay and play forever. Thank you for letting Jocelyn bloggysit, it was a lot of fun.

    But, thank you for returning so that we can all enjoy your fabu recipes. Make sure Jocelyn shows you her wok!

  10. Welcome back – looks like you had a fantastic time! Excellent pictures and you cooked already!! Beans are fantastic, and I agree with you – eating them every day has never been a problem. There are so many amazing summer salad to be made with beans & other accouterments – and now that the weather is accommodating. Lucky you – you came back to this amazing weather just in time!

  11. I love that you love beans, and I hope you had some good Mexican refried beans or that creamy black bean soup on your trip. Thank you for bringing the nice weather back with you- it gave me the perfect excuse to make the ice cream!

  12. Welcome back! I made your raspberry sauce yesterday to put on vanilla ice-cream. Sooo good, and so easy to make! I can’t wait to make it for french toast or pancakes.

  13. Jelena

    Mexico looks so nice! And those mango margaritas make me feel very thirsty. I’m glad you had a good time and ate a lot of beans. The pictures are absolutely beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

  14. Coralie

    Welcome back!

    I’ll be trying your salad tonight, so we can eat it in the garden while the weather is still beautiful.

  15. AngAk

    Try your leftover(if you have any) bean salad with some bowtie pasta thrown in. Very nice lunch the next day, sprinkled with a bit of cilantro.

  16. deb

    Oops! There’s a recipe right over here, or you can take my word that I just used three of those total rip-off, still-mealy Holland tomatoes, the other half of that big white onion, one minced clove of garlic, two jalapeños, juice from one half of a lime and a bit of salt.

    Um, does anyone want to hear about my total “duh!” experience chopping peppers yesterday? Like, I’ve probably chopped a zillion in my life but only yesterday figured out a way (that I’m sure everyone else has always used) that makes it totally zippy? I’ll wait for a response before I bore you with these remedial details.

  17. Noel

    Hi Deb,
    I LOVE the photos! Whats your secret to taking such wonderful pics? The bean salad looks soooo yummy , by the way.

  18. jessica mae

    1) yes, yes, yes! i want the super speedelicious way to chop peppers.

    2) i know it is probably somewhere on here, but i am running late for a class and haven’t the time to search, but where did you stay? because anywhere that lets me swing while i drink is a place i need to go and it just so happens that i am in search of a vacation destination.

  19. deb

    Okay, okay. Like I could resist, anyway. Now, feel free to laugh and me about this because it’s so heinously simply and would be logical if you, say, took use of the logic functions of your brain but first let me say how I previously cut peppers: fully in half, stem to base. I’d then use a paring knife to remove the two half-heads of seeds and every last bit of the white, because I’m OCD. I’d then cut them into wide strips, and since there would inevitably be seeds that had stuck to the sides, I tap, tap, tap against their skins over a bowl until they came out. Then I’d cut them into whatever sized pieces I want. What a ridiculous amount of labor! Comparatively, that is.

    But what simplicity I was missing out on! 1. Slice the top half-inch of the pepper clear off, taking the stem off the pepper. Do the same thing at the bottom, creating a flat base. This base is your snack; enjoy it. 2. Rest it on it’s base and angle your knife so that it draws a line from white segment to the next. Cut straight down. Repeat this two more times. (I’m pretty sure peppers have only three white strips running top to bottom.) 3. The awesome part about this is that you leave the seeded inner globe and the white strips in one piece, which you discard. There were no more than one to two seeds left in any piece of the pepper that I was using. Plus, you have reduced your whole pepper three nearly perfectly shaped and trimmed rectangles which are fantastically easy to julienne and dice. We’re talking 30 seconds of prep here, tops. It even worked on the jalapeño, though I, uh, did not snack on the bottom piece I’d cut off.

    I promise to take pictures next time. It will probably make a lot more sense. And now I’m wondering what happened to that knife skills class I was supposed to take last year…

    1. Annette

      Yes!!! Some years ago, there was a short video about this on Martha Stewart’s site, and I’ve been doing my peppers that way ever since, and each time I am so *pleased* with myself. (And if you don’t want to use the bottom as a snack for yourself, it’s also very easy to cut into strips because it’s one piece. Even the top, minus the stem part, is easier to handle.)
      Such a useful tip.

      1. Annette

        Hah – I just saw that this is a 2007 post, so I watched the “years ago” Martha Stewart video maybe 2015? So I should have read your site more diligently back in the day – then I could have had my peppers epiphany so much earlier!

  20. Jessica

    I also voted and BTW, I finally (just tonight) ordered the ipod wallet from Acme Made that you recommended years ago. If you need a new one, they are on sale for $19.99! I think they are trying to clear out their old stock…

  21. Alan Takeda

    Glad yer back. My sister makes a black bean salad similar to yours, but with garlic, diced tomatoes and coriander. I’m going to try yours…it sounds delish. BTW, I voted for your Blog too. Yep, I cut my peppers like that…saw someone on Food Network do it that way. Easy, eh?

  22. Seriously, I love food and I love cooking and eating it. I enjoy watching Giada on the tele and must say that you have the enthusiasm on your site that she has on tv. I love reading your stuff. You inspire me to try things that I have limited myself from in the past. I have not before seen a site more deserving of an award than yours. Good job!

  23. deb

    ashleystravel — If you’re a black bean junkie, I just saw this recipe on Epicurious for black bean empanadas. I drooled a little. Also, my super-secret favorite ready-to-go black beans in the entire freaking world? Goya Black Bean Soup (in the red can.) Don’t be put off by the word “soup,” there’s only slightly more liquid in there than a regular can of beans. Heat it up, serve it with tacos or whatnot, and people will think you’ve slaved over them. Garnishing them with fresh scallions or cilantro or parsley furthers the subterfuge. And… now I’m drooling again.

    Marce — Yay. I knew you’d love Joc. Or, most of you would. I am super-duper impressed by her frequent posts; I rarely get four in in a week!

    Lydia — They really do taste better there. Plus, they’re bean fanatics, so more attention is given to making them good. Their limes are better, too. And their corn products less over-refined. And their sun… Sob!

    woodwinkedithink — I’ve got photo information over here about lenses and such. But, in short, I only use available light (having a super-sunny apartment makes it easier), and then I crop and adjust lighting if neccessary and white-balance in a photo editor.

    Larry — I think I will have to, in honor of her. Or, I’m trying to talk myself into it. They actually scare me. It’s probably best I don’t read the ingredients, right?

    Jenn — Heheh. I can assure, we did nothing in Mexico that would impress your anthropology class. No ruins, no sight-seeing, no tours, no museums… just cocktails in sugar-rimmed glasses with fruit skewers, lots of reading and even more napping. I’ll call it Resort Authentic.

    Jenifer from Houston — I didn’t want to come back. I kept putting off changing out of my capris and flip-flops, through one flight and the next one. Then I heard it was 75 in NYC and I took it as a sign I had indeed done the right lazy thing. I forgot to tell you — I was in Houston! For three hours! Um, the airport. Our non-stop flight back was overbooked, blah blah, so we took the $300 voucher and the first-class upgrade (woot!) and flew through Houston instead. The airport is freaking enormous. It might be bigger than Manhattan.

    radish — Yes! I love making beans salads. I have like 100 ideas for them in my head. And I love that they keep so well. For a big meal, a side dish. A small one, you can plop them on some lettuce with a crusty piece of bread. And then sing the “beans, beans, they’re good for your heart!…” song.

    Mercedes — You made it! God, that looks so good, I want to cry. I feel utterly guilty I have yet to get to it but it’s, like, time-consuming and I’ve been, like, busy. Soon, soon we will be together.

    Tammi — Yay! Glad you liked it. I’m toying with the idea of putting it on cheese blintzes… if I ever get around to making them.

    Coralie — Can I come over and eat in the garden, too? So jealous.

    AngAk — Or! Or, I was thinking some cubed, toasted corn bread for a sort of Mexican panzanella. If there were ever any leftovers.

    Noel — I’ve got some photo information over here.

    jessica mae — We stayed the Grand Mayan in Riviera Maya. It was lovely.

    Jessica — Nice! Sadly, my less-than-two-years-old iPod is already being problematic, just when I am so very convinced I want to get a Mac. (First, to rob a bank.) I know they’re unrelated, but it’s the same logo, so I spread the blame around. Hope you love it. Btw, I’m sweating their Trixy bag these days, especially in the camouflage, but I’m worried it looks too hipster. Blech.

    Rasa Malaysia — Yup, everything with the 50mm. It’s still my favorite lens, though because it’s so great for low-light pictures, it’s slightly less than ideal for the bright, sunny ones. I found myself bumping up the shadows a bit so everything didn’t look so washed out. Then again, there are worse problems to have. ;) Hope you love it, too.

    Alan Takeda — I figured I must have seen it on the FN and unconsciously absorbed it. I mean, why else would I be at the cutting board with a pepper and big knife and say “I’m going to try something different today!”? I’m really not that creative when I chop.

    Jess — Thanks. Once I get over my stage fright, I unapologetically want my own cooking show. Stop laughing, people who know me in person. Quit it!

  24. Jessica

    Hmmm… I don’t know how I feel about the camoflage. Camo just seems like such a fad and $80 seems like a lot to pay for it. It’s a cute bag, but I think that you would be better off in getting it in the chocolate…

    What is your iPod doing?

  25. I just came back from spring break and I need another vacation. About peppers, my boyfriend (now husband) taught me to empty bell peppers of stem and seeds with no knife and I love it. Think of it like a banana. Press into the pepper near the stem with your thumb until it pops and pull out the stem and seeds. Most of the time it will separate with no problem but don’t do this with an old wrinkly soft pepper. The rest of the pepper you can pull in half before you slice it however your taste or recipes requires.

  26. Cris

    Okay, this is fairly off topic, but you mentioned peppers and I’ve been dying to share this story with someone (which I am absolutely forbidden to do with people we know). My husband makes a yummy salsa that consists of a ton of different peppers – some fairly hot. I’m always right there with the “don’t touch your eye, it’ll burn!” stuff, as if he were three. He hates it.

    But then one day (and this is where I start rolling on the floor) he gets done making the salsa and then goes to the ‘facilities.’ Turns out, peppers can burn areas even more sensitive than your eyes. Oh the agony! Nothing helps – not washing the ‘area’, not cream, nothing. I finally remember that Food Network recommends drinking milk when peppers have burned your mouth and come up with the bright idea of soaking his thing in milk. Sounds good, right? Only the two of us forgot how guys react to cold – especially a huge cup of freezing cold milk that your wife suddenly dunks your parts into!

  27. Jessica

    Cris- HAHAHAHAHA. I am right there with you, rolling on the floor. If only your husband knew you were sharing this story…. ;-)

  28. wowza with the photos! You typically impress me with your photos, but these are even better than normal!
    Hope you had a great vacay. I too rarely go a day without beans. Love them!

  29. Good heavens, that looks good. I just picked up a recipe for black bean soup, but this is so absolutely resplendent with color that I am incredibly tempted. Maybe I’ll just add this to the list and move that soup down a notch.


  30. Your vacation sounds magical and the photos from it have my longing for a tropical location!

    Cris – Too funny about the peppers! LOL! (I’m sure…not so funny for him, but still. Makes for a great story!)

  31. So, I’m new to the blog and I’m loving it! I made this confetti salad for dinner last night with a couple twists I thought I’d share. I subbed out one of the bell peppers for a mango. I used red onion instead of white because of the color and because it is a tad sweeter. I used lotsa cilantro. And I made twice the dressing, and used half of it as a marinade for chicken. The chicken came out really tasty (baked it through then finished it in the broiler). Thanks for the great recipes!

  32. Sass

    Loving the recipe! desperate to try it out.. But, I’m in the UK and try as hard as I can haven’t located any black beans over here!! Can anyone suggest a good replacement?

  33. Leslie

    Your vacation photos are wonderful! I am wondering where you stayed? My sister is looking for a honeymoon destination and this might be perfect for them. Thanks! I am looking forward to trying the margarita cookies…I love anything with citrus!

  34. elyse

    i was in the mood for something fresh, after being insanely busy (ah, my last 2 weeks of college ever!) and saw this.. and it was everything i wanted. we made both the salad and salsa fresca, and then taco meat for taco salad, with blue corn chips.. yummmmm. and for once, a pretty recipe turned out just as pretty when i did it! :) gorgeous – and delish!

  35. Hello! I know this is a bit late, but I saw that glorious photo of the black bean salad and suddenly was gripped by the insatiable desire to try it. So I tried it out last night, with surprising results! (Surprising for me, perhaps?)

    I’m a poor student, so I had to work with what I had on hand. Luckily for me, coloured peppers were on sale this week, so I actually could justify buying a few! I also threw in a can of lentils which may or may not have been mine, but had been sitting on our shelf for ages.

    The real thing I’m proud of is the vinaigrette–I got everything ready and then realized that we didn’t have any cumin OR cayenne! Agh!! So I poked around through the random spices we’ve accrued over the years and found some chili powder. I threw in a little extra and also a dash of dried basil, plus garlic powder and VOILA! (I might have added extra honey, too, because it smelled REALLY GOOD.) And that was my dinner, with a side of flax seed toast! I’m really going to have to start making more vinaigrettes–I’m not usually a big “salad” person, but this new discovery of honey with lime is really exciting to me! (Says the cooking n00b. >_>;)

    Anyway, just wanted to say thanks for the recipe–I always read your posts, but never comment. Until now! ^_^b

    Thanks again!

  36. Mandah

    In addition to the Chocolate Stout cake, I also made this yesterday for my dinner party, and it was so delish and perfect for a balmy summer evening. I added some roasted and marinated tomatoes, and included the cilantro because I love it. Ah, what next!

  37. Rachele

    Thanks for the wonderful recipe’s! Your photo’s are amazing as well. Were you at the Grand Mayan in the riviera maya? I was married there this past fall would recognize that pier and swinging bar stools anywhere.

  38. Dancer who eats

    I like any salad with black beans! This was so good. The soft beans with crunchy peppers…..YUM!!!! Perfect for summer eating in a New England condo that is not insulated…..

  39. Rachel

    I still can’t get over the fact that you don’t like cilantro. I read your post about your Bahamas trip and since I’m so vacation starved at this point I clicked the link about the other resorts you’ve been too and happily it brought me to this recipe. I too have an undying love for black beans. I’m definitely trying this one, and adding cilantro with abandon!

  40. Cara

    I just made the confetti salad for a Barbeque I’m having tomorrow. IT’S SO GOOD!!!!!!!!!!!! I only did 1/4 tsp cumin and it still tastes heavenly!

  41. Laura

    Do you think you could add corn to this? Corn is coming into season and I used to make a rice based salad that had black beans and corn and thought that might be good with this dressing as well. Hmmmm, additions are addictive.

  42. janie guetzow

    I make a similar salad all summer long. I use a can of black beans, chick peas (Goya), and butter beans, then season with salt pepper, add lemon juice, olive oil, and cilantro. Sometimes I add tomato too and definately eat it with chips. It always tastes better after it’s been in the ‘frig over night. Thanks so much for sharing and posting such lovely pcitures :)

  43. Thank you so much for this recipe. I’ve been in such a rut lately food-wise and this salad was just what we needed to wake up. I made it over the 4th of July weekend and we loved it. We, being cilantro lovers, loaded it up with the stuff. Fantastic! It was a side dish the first day, a sandwich topping the next, and lastly, I mixed the leftovers with buttered rice and a little bit of garlic two nights later for a Cuban influenced side dish. This one is a keeper.

  44. I just tried this recipe last week. It was really quite good. We are not huge bell pepper fans (we had some left over from fajitas) so I put less in. I put in extra lime and a lot of cilantro (because I love both so much). My husband and I both liked it; had it as a side salad for dinner, snack with tortilla chips and put a little into our breakfast burritos the next morning. Thanks!

  45. Monica

    I make a similar salad and add chopped mango. It adds a lovely sweetness. I use the salad many ways: as a side dish for any grilled protein, as a filler for an omelette, and when it’s almost gone I puree it and use it as a bean dip. Yum!!!
    Deb, I love your blog. You have a wonderful way of communicating, and your photos are beautiful.

  46. Deb!! Congrats on the baby again, that picture of him nestled in someones arms just takes my breath away. I just made the salad and boy was I floored! So I’m a quarter mexican (and that gives me authority -ha!) but I have never tasted a concoction soooo perfect for a tortilla chip. No seriously, this is the perfect recipe to bring to a party! I’m going to repost the recipe on my blog early next week!

  47. Veggiesaurus

    This is such a tasty bean salad! I highly recommend. The overall flavor isn’t incredibly strong, so it is great as a side dish. It’s a great protein option for vegetarians (like myself). And it works wonderfully alone as a side dish, inside a tortilla, scooped up in a tortilla chip, or sprinkled with grated cheese. I am intrigued to try the idea of putting in chopped mango. I think cherry tomatoes or diced cucumber would also go well in this salad. The beautiful photographs really enticed me to try cooking this. Thank you, Deb, for such lovely photography and delicious recipes!

  48. I am SUPER late to the party but on a whim I scoured your blog first for a recipe for a bridal shower, because honestly – your pretty food does not disappoint. I rocked your recipe (added rice) and my husbands Polish aunties were all talking about it! They have a recipe for ‘Santa Fe’ salad with similar ingredients – but I really think it’s the lime that does the trick (vs. orange or lemon juice) so I kept that part to myself! Thank you for the bad-ass recipe! I am a loyal subscriber, now!

    p.s. here’s a photo of my version:

  49. Z

    Just made this dressing for another salad, and absolutely fell in love with it!!! As a college student, I don’t always have a lot of time, but this only took a few minutes. Do you think I could make a bigger batch and keep it in the fridge? If so, how long would it last? Thanks for all your awesome recipes!

  50. Lynsay

    Hi there! I just made this and didn’t love it on it’s own as a salad, sadly. I used dry beans and soaked them for a couple days in the fridge, and then cooked them, and something about the salad smelled a bit…plastic-y…? I also added cilantro, which might have made something funny…(I just read that article on NYtimes recently about how cilatro kind of tastes like soap!). But…not really sure what the culprit was in making this go wrong. So…in order to save dinner…I used this as a salsa and threw it on top of some tortilla chips and cheese and popped them in the oven and made nachos! This salad was pretty good as a topping. I might try to make it again and figure out where the weird smell/taste was coming from….thanks!

  51. Paula

    I just made this for lunch, very tasty! I added some chayotte squash which came in my csa box. I was told that it tastes good raw and in salads and it did make a great addition.

  52. I loved this quick salad! Not only was it delicious and simple to make but it looked fantastic with all the different colors! I’m a huge fan of black beans and am always looking for news ways to use them! This is something that will definitely stay in my recipe books! Thanks!!

  53. Katie

    Just made this, but had trouble finding black beans in Australia (?) so went with cannalleni beans… and it tasted amazing. Craving black beans, now, though… anyone know where I can find them in Oz?

  54. I’m going to use your cumin-lime vinaigrette and add a few extra veggies to your confetti salad (avocado, corn, jalapeno, garlic, tomato) and then I’m going to nom it all down. It sounds way better than the Italian dressing I normally use.

  55. Jake

    I made this dish a couple days ago, thinking it’d be better to snack on this than frozen pizzas or McDonald’s late-night menu while I’m studying through the night during the two-day period within which all of my finals happen to fall. (I must have angered the scheduling gods or something, having all my finals on two days. Bad luck!)

    It’s a great snack, but after eating it for two meals and several snacks, I got sick of it, so — clever as I am — I layered it and tortilla chips and shredded cheese in an oven-safe bowl, and a few minutes later I had probably the most delicious nachos I’ve ever eaten!

    Now, getting back to that studying…

  56. Zach

    I’ve been home sick from work for 2 days with nothing better to do than catch up with my online trolling, including your wonderful blog! (I’ve been reading for sometime now and have attempted many things). Well, I had a burst of energy here at 9:00pm and thought, “SURE!” Well, this will now be my go-to recipe for summer parties! Easy, colorful, and DELICIOUS! I think next time I’ll try adding mango for a little sweet n sassy flavor! Lovely dish!

  57. Hi Deb, I’m a long time reader but first time commenter. I wanted to start by saying, thank you so much for this recipe! It has become a staple in me and my boyfriends diets! Actually, I went to make it again last night for a quick and easy dinner but unfortunately, the grocery store was low on stock (of just about everything) so we had to improvise. I used Azuki beans instead of black beans and added some corn and jalapeno. You can see my recipe on my site.

    Thanks again for the amazing recipes!

  58. Jackie from Boston

    hi Deb! I made this last awesomely bright salad last night for a Girls Night Mexican Dinner I had with friends and family and everyone raved about it! I have some today for lunch at work and I am PSYCHED for it. It was great. I also added Shoepeg corn to it which I liked alot. Thanks for posting consistently awesome recipes. I love your site so much!
    PS I wanted to make this salad because I thought hmm…colorful! springy! it’s almost April of course I should make something I associate with warmer weather approaching… what did I wake up to today? Snow/Sleet mix…. woof. oh well at least I will be springy in spirit because of my lunch ;)

  59. Jenn

    What a great recipe to brighten my day and to chase away the winter that won’t go away up here in NH! I just made this for lunch ,topped it on a bed of mixed greens with some avocado and grape tomatoes. It is heavenly! Thankyou :)

  60. Carrie

    I made this last night, and it was great – we actually used it as a salsa-type dip for tortilla chips. It was bright and fresh.

  61. Liz L.

    Man I have been making a version of this for years. It took a couple of batches for me to add in the honey to offset the tartness. It really is so helpful! Instead of serving alongside a salsa fresca though, I usually add in a drained can of Rotel tomatoes. Bags of tortilla chips are helpless to its charms.

  62. Just made this and added some frozen sweet corn from a friend’s garden and it was amazing. I also substituted sweet onion for regular and for those who don’t like the bite of raw onion I highly recommend it. With a little avocado it made a perfect lunch.

  63. Rhyannon

    I’ve been making a salad similar to this for a while, but it always felt like something was missing. This dressing was the key! I doubled it sort of, as my lime was not that juicy. Thanks Deb, I LOVE your site–recipes, writing, and photos!

  64. Anna

    This is wonderful, and even more confetti-gorgeous, when mixed with a proportionate amount of Israeli cous-cous.
    also, as my mom doesn’t eat raw onions, I chose to pickle mine for this recipe, as you so wisely taught me, and they were very mellow and sweet.

  65. Kimberly

    This was delicious! I had lots of leftovers from the BBQ that I took it to because I doubled the recipe. I ended up cooking the leftovers into a frittata (throw it into a pie dish, add whisked eggs and cheese if you want it, and bake until it’s set). I also made a stir fry by adding cooked rice and an egg. These were yummy variations in case you have leftovers too. :)

  66. mary

    I have been making a variation of this salad for years. I add jalepeno pepper and a can of white corn (it seems to be crisper than yellow). I have also added raspberry chipotle for a dressing. Mmmmmmm, now that is good.

    Love your website, thanks for much inspiration!!

  67. Justine

    We made this tonight and my 21-month-old ate FIVE BOWLS of it. Small bowls, but still. Such a quick, easy, healthy salad!

  68. joan louise

    Hello, *sigh*…April 23, 1981 is my son’s birthday. This was a sign I bet from him for me to google a recipe of ingredients that I forgot what was needed. I came across yours. I am preparing some food for guests today visiting me, for a funeral reception afterwards. My beloved son passed away on 6/27/13. He was 32, and fought a battle with cystic fibrosis. He also was a chef, went to culinary school in Denver. He passed in Florida, loved the beach, but hardly got there. I am so grief stricken, he was my ONLY child. Please pray for my son. His name Is Marco Antonio Madrid.

  69. Debbykc

    Thanks for my go-to barbecue side dish recipe. It’s a classic. (I add minced garlic to hype the taste). Thank you thank you thank you

  70. Alison

    Hi, I don’t know how often you go back and check your archives, but I just wanted to say thank you for this recipe! It’s simple, but so, so good :) I’ve been making it quite often since this was originally published (especially in the summer), and everyone who’s had it LOVES it! It’s also a great way to use up leftover similar veggies that I can’t seem to find a place for (like today, when I had most of a bunch of scallions leftover from a recipe last week. I just chopped them up and tossed them in with everything else). And I ALWAYS add cilantro – that’s not an option in my house!

    My husband was recently put on a low-salt diet, so I made black beans from dried without salt, and made the dressing without salt. I added extra lime juice and zest. I thought it was going to be bland, but guess what? It’s still awesome!

    Anyway, thanks again. This has been one of my go-to’s for the last 7 years, and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon :)

    1. deb

      Alison — Thanks, and yes, I always read old comments. From my Admin panel, I read all comments in the order that they arrive, so it doesn’t matter how old the post is.

  71. We make something very similar – BUT, we throw in avocado as well.

    We spent a week in Hautulco, MX (for daughters wedding). I had beans for breakfast (throw a scoop of beans on the flattop, drop an egg on it.. Mix-er up til cooked, drizzle a little cheese on it.. ymmm) lunch and most dinners.

  72. Karina

    Just got back from our family picnic; this salad/salsa was a huge success, and I just ate the leftovers for dinner with some avocado on top! My slight changes were to add about 2 cups of frozen roasted sweet corn kernels (from Trader Joes), used diced cucumber instead of green pepper, red onion instead of white. I’ll make this again and again!

  73. Sharon

    About to give this recipe a try. I love potato and or green salad but this is going to knock things up a few notches. Loving trying new things. For an old thing I consider your blog an inspiration. Keeps me young. Lol!!

  74. Charlotte in Toronto

    Thanks for highlighting these older posts that happened before you came into my life. I see now what I’d been missing all those years. This salad looks fresh, easy and portable. It’ll be my lunch this week. Too hot to cook but not too hot to chop some peppers while I’m having a Gin and Tonic.

  75. KMJR

    It’s more than 10 yrs since you posted this. (WHAT?) And I’ve been making this and variations for the last 3 years. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the dressing! I always make it with cilantro now. I seldom put in more than a hint of heat, and it’s always fab. Sometimes I even add some diced avocado which is sublime…inmho.
    Thanks for this salad recipe that has saved me several times on hot summer nights & has caused at least one picnic. Highly recommend it. K

    1. KMJR

      Also, I’m probably one of the few people around who doesn’t much care for black beans. I’ve made it w white or dark kidney beans, small white beans (navy?), & even a can of mixed beans once. It’s not so much a scoop-with-chips dish this way bc the beans etc are larger. And have also broken up tortilla chips over the top–absolutely yum! ; )

  76. Elizabeth Lehnertz

    This has become a super easy staple to have on hand in the fridge. So easy to make – and easy to add as side to so many meals.

  77. Danana

    Hi Deb – This recipe came up as a “Surprise!” and it was perfect for our dinner last night. I made it as written, and served it with brown rice and feta cheese – delicious! Another staple for our house – your recipes are always so good. Thanks and best wishes for your continued health during this pandemic. We live in Syracuse, so not far away, and worry about all of you going through this. Here’s to better days! (I’ll toast you with a rhubarb cordial) – Donna

  78. Janet

    So glad you put this recipe in your weekly newsletter – it’s the best! My grandson, who at 10 is a pretty sophisticated eater, asks me to make it when we’re having a family party. I don’t change a thing, but I wait to add the tomatoes until we’re ready to eat because who likes cold tomatoes? The rest just sits in the fridge and gets better overnight.

  79. Well, again, we’re visiting the grandkids (and their parents) during the summer. We’re attending a 4th of July party and, while I momentarily thought to make something holiday-related, I sat down with an ice cold beer til that thought passed. I prowled the pantry in my daughters kitchen and found everything I needed save the jalapeño (she has smallish kiddos, after all.) Dispatched handsome husband to the grocery store to fetch the jalapeño, and twenty minutes later – voila! – we were eyeing a beautiful bowl of goodness. Thanks again for all the cooking inspiration, Deb. I depend on you far more than I ought!

  80. Karina Lake

    Not sure why I waited so long to comment – I make this every summer as a side dish and it never disappoints! This year I bought a big jar of chile-lime seasoning salt from Costco and was excited to use it in place of plain salt – delicious! I didn’t have any fresh chile so I added 1/2 tsp. of chipotle powder, which has a kick, and is smoky. There are so many variations on this, the mind reels with possibilities!

  81. Jackie

    So delicious!! I made with a red onion (because that’s what I had) and added raw corn, an avocado, and some grape tomatoes.