Brazilian Black Bean And Red Pepper Salad

Course : Beans
Serves: 1
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2 cups regular dried black beans
1 large red pepper -- diced
1 large green pepper -- diced
2 large finely chopped carrots -- up to 3
2 cloves garlic -- up to 3
1/2 cup cilantro -- finely chopped
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
3 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 dash red pepper Flakes
1 dash salt (if desired)

Preparation / Directions:

Pick through beans and soak overnight with plenty of water to cover. In the morning, drain the beans and add fresh water to cover. Place beans over heat. Add one clove of garlic and bring to a moderate boil. Cook beans for approximately 30-45 minutes until beans are tender but NOT SOFT and mushy. The beans should be firm enough to hold their shape. Keep a close eye on their progress. When beans are cooked to the tender stage, remove garlic and drain. Place warm beans in a large serving bowl. While beans are cooking, chop and dice the red and green peppers and carrots. Add them to the beans. In a 2-cup measuring cup (or something similar),combine the rice wine vinegar, water, cumin and other ingredients. Mince the remaining garlic and add it to the rice vinegar dressing. Stir well to combine ingredients. Toss the bean and vegetable mixture with the rice wine vinegar dressing. Cover and refrigerate for a few hours before serving. I think tossing warm beans with dressing enhances the flavors more than if using cold beans. The rice wine vinegar is fairly sweet and very mild. It makes an exceptionally delicious replacement for olive oil in just about any salad dressing recipe. The lemon-y cilantro adds a wonderful flavor; especially when combined with the cumin. Try to use fresh cilantro. Dried cilantro just does not have the same impact. You can substitute fresh parsley if desired. Serve the bean salad over rice and spoon a little dressing over it. The red and green peppers add beautiful color and contrast nicely with the black beans and cilantro. Together it makes for an attractive presentation on the plate.

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