This salad is healthy, delicious, and loaded with protein-rich black beans, fresh veggies, and a tangy pomegranate molasses dressing. With a sprinkle of sumac,
Mediterranean Black Bean Salad: a simple yet vibrant dish that shines with flavor. From the sweet pomegranate molasses to the tartness of sumac and the rich nuttiness of black beans, this black bean salad recipe is an instant crowd-pleaser. It’s a delicious and healthy choice whether serving it as a vegan appetizer or a refreshing main.
To be honest, I wasn’t initially a black bean salad enthusiast. But after making this, even my bean-loving husband was taken aback by its taste. After whipping up a generous serving, I found myself enjoying it for lunch, day after day. Now, I eagerly anticipate my next batch.
What sets this apart is the pomegranate molasses dressing, further elevated by the unique touch of sumac. For fans of sumac and Mediterranean-inspired flavors, this salad is a must-try. And if you’re keen on exploring more recipes with these unique tastes, don’t miss my Fattoush salad with pomegranate molasses dressing and the Roasted Chicken with zaatar and sumac. Dive in and savor the Mediterranean essence!
Make a Black Bean Salad recipe with these ingredients
For the Salad:
- Cooked Black Beans (or canned, drained, and washed): Black beans serve as the hearty base, providing a rich, earthy flavor and creamy texture.
- Cucumber, Cherry Tomatoes, and Red Onion (roughly chopped): These fresh vegetables add a refreshing crunch and juicy sweetness to the salad, enhancing its overall taste.
- Shredded Red Cabbage: Red cabbage contributes a crisp and slightly peppery bite, complementing the other ingredients.
- Italian Parsley and Fresh Mint (roughly chopped): These aromatic herbs infuse the salad with a burst of freshness, offering a combination of earthy and minty notes.
- Feta Cheese Crumbles: Feta cheese adds a creamy and tangy element, creating a delightful contrast with the beans and vegetables.
For the Dressing:
- Pomegranate Molasses: Pomegranate molasses brings a sweet-tart complexity, elevating the dressing’s flavor profile.
- Zest and Juice of One Lemon: The lemon zest and juice provide a zesty and citrusy brightness, enhancing the overall taste.
- Olive Oil: Olive oil contributes a rich and fruity flavor with a hint of peppery notes, adding depth to the dressing.
- Salt and Pepper: These seasonings are used to season and balance the flavors, ensuring a well-rounded taste.
- Sumac: Sumac can be sprinkled on top for an extra layer of tartness and a visually appealing touch.
Canned Beans vs. Dry Beans
Canned vs. Dried Beans: What’s the difference? It boils down to sodium, preparation time, and cost. Canned beans often have added salt and preservatives, increasing sodium. This not only affects taste but also the overall health profile of your dish. Dried beans, in contrast, don’t come with added sodium. So, when you use dried beans, you control the salt level in your recipes. For dishes like our black bean salad, opting for dried beans might be the healthier choice.
How to Prepare Dry Black Beans
- Soaking: Begin by rinsing the black beans well. Place them in a big bowl and cover with water. A good soak, ideally 4-6 hours or overnight, will prepare them for cooking.
- Cooking: After soaking, rinse your beans once more. Pop them in a pot and pour in water, ensuring they’re submerged by about 2 inches. Heat until boiling, then drop to a simmer, covering the pot. Cook them for about 45-60 minutes until they’re soft. If foam bubbles up, just skim it off.
- Cooling: Drain the water off and give the beans a quick cold rinse. This halts the cooking process. Drain again and move your beans to a bowl, ready for your black bean salad recipe.
- Note: A half cup of dry beans typically yields around 1 ½ cups once cooked.
Make Your Version
There are many ways to customize a black bean salad by adding different vegetables and toppings. Here are some ideas:
- Classic black bean salad corn: black beans, red onion, bell pepper, corn, cilantro, lime juice, salt, and pepper.
- Southwest black bean salad: black beans, cherry tomatoes, red onion, corn, avocado, jalapenos, cilantro, lime juice, cumin, and chili powder.
- Mango black bean salad: black beans, diced mango, red onion, bell pepper, lime juice, honey, cilantro, and salt.
- Don’t restrict yourself. Use any beans of your liking.
Ways to Serve Your Salad
As a side dish, Serve the Mediterranean Black Bean Salad with our easy oven-baked chicken breast or easyPrepare Easy Oven-Cooked Halibut or other Mediterranean-inspired dishes like rosemary Garlic lamb chop and pita bread.
As a main course: Add some protein to the salad, such as grilled shrimp or tofu, to make it a filling and nutritious main course.
Note: Pomegranate molasses salad dressing is available in most grocery stores. If you can’t find any near you, substitute with balsamic vinegar and add one teaspoon of honey. However, I simply love pomegranate molasses dressing for salad. This reminds me; perhaps I need to make a pomegranate salad dressing recipe. hmmm…
Tell Me How I’m Doing?
Have you made this tasty Mediterranean-style black bean salad? I love to hear your feed back. Please feel free to leave a comment below.