Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Black Bean, Mango and Couscous Salad with Jalapeño Dressing

Hey all! Sorry for not posting as much as usual this past week, but I was busy relaxing in Punta Cana. The resort we stayed, the Excellence Punta Cana, was fantastic. One of the best things about it was the seven restaurants on the premises, all of which had vegetarian menus. Despite the quality and the variety of the resort's food, I missed my kitchen. I tried to console myself by drinking copious amounts of coconut water,

hanging out by the wonderful pool,

and posing for some aerial shots (not as graceful I would like, but at least my calves look good).

Not surprisingly, I was able to push my yearnings for my kitchen aside and enjoy our wonderful vacation.  Now that we're at home, I find myself with a hankering for some Dominican foods, like the wonderful fruit we had at breakfast. Missing something no mater where I am! I just can't win! (I know, you can't possibly pity me so soon after my trip.) I decided to pick up some mangoes and put my tropical fruit craving to rest.

I usually eat mango straight up or in a smoothie. Today, though, I was in the mood for something spicy, which is how I thought up this couscous salad. It brings together the sweetness of mango, the acidity of tomato and lemon, the heartiness of black beans and a nice jalapeño kick. As a wonderful bonus, it comes together in under 15 minutes.

Black Bean, Mango and Couscous Salad with Jalapeño Dressing
Makes about 4 servings

  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups couscous
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 mango, peeled and diced
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 15 oz / 425 g can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup lemon or lime juice, about the juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded if you don't like heat
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Optional: 1 avocado, diced
1.  Pour the water into a pot and bring to a boil. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper and the couscous. Give the mixture a quick stir and remove the pot from the heat. Let it sit covered for about 4-5 minutes. Fluff the couscous with a fork and transfer it into a bowl along with the mango, tomato, bell pepper, cilantro and black beans.
2. Blend the remaining 1/2 cup of olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper, lemon juice, garlic and jalapeño until smooth. I used my Magic Bullet Blender for this but a mini food processor would work great too. If you don't feel like dirtying your large blender or food processor, you could always just finely mince the garlic and jalapeño, or pound them with a mortar and pestle, and whisk all the dressing ingredients together.
3. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss it. Serve the salad room temperature or chilled. If you're going to store this salad don't add the avocado ahead of time or it will oxidize; toss it in right before you eat the salad instead.


  1. This looks fantastic! I love the combo of black beans & mango.

  2. Thanks Andrea! I love it too and think it's even more amazing when combined with some heat.