Avocado & Black Bean Salad Recipe

A colorful salad with a Southwestern flair combines tender beans and avocado with crisp peppers and onion and a sweet orange dressing. Be sure to pick avocados that are ripe but still firm or they will lose their shape. You can substitute red pepper if orange and yellow peppers are unavailable. You can also substitute 5 cans of beans for the dried beans and skip step 1—this might impact the texture and color of the salad but it will work in a pinch.

do ahead Salad can be made to step 3 up to one day ahead.
1 pound black beans, picked through for stones
and soaked for 6-8 hours
zest and juice of 2 oranges
2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
6 scallions, sliced
1/2 cup medium chopped orange or yellow pepper
1/2 cup medium chopped red pepper
1/2 cup medium chopped red onion
1/2 tablespoon finely chopped jalapeño
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
1 head romaine lettuce, leaves separated, washed and dried
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
1 teaspoon olive oil
3 ripe but firm avocados
1 In a medium saucepan, cover beans with water and bring to a boil. Lower heat, partially cover pot and simmer gently until beans are soft, about 1 1/2-2 hours. Rinse and drain beans and toss with 1/2 teaspoon salt.
2 In a small saucepan, bring orange juice to a boil and continue boiling until juice is reduced by half, about 8 minutes. Transfer reduced juice to a small bowl and allow it to cool. Make the dressing by adding garlic, rice vinegar, olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and black pepper.
3 In a large bowl, combine beans, dressing, orange zest, scallions, orange pepper, red pepper, onion and jalapeño. Toss to coat evenly. Allow beans to marinate in the dressing for at least 30 minutes.
4 Just before serving, peel and cut avocado into small cubes (about 1/4-inch). If the avocado sits out undressed it will discolor. Add avocado and cilantro to salad and toss to distribute. Check seasoning and add more salt and pepper to taste. Serve salad on a platter lined with a bed of lettuce.
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