This salad’s a feisty one, a show-off. It’s fantastically bright and colourful, and boastful of its bold, ballsy flavours. The mango is sweet and succulent, and the miso is wonderfully savoury in contrast. Where the toasted sesame oil is rich, nutty and warming, the lime is sharp and cutting. It stands alone wonderfully as a suitably filling vegetarian and vegan meal, but should you want to beef it up a little, it makes a great bed for a grilled chicken breast or salmon fillet.
While it’s always a good idea to let flavours mingle a little before serving, I wouldn’t advise dressing and mixing the salad any more than 20 minutes in advance. The spinach will wilt a little more than is palatable. If preparing ahead, chop all the ingredients (with the exception of the coriander) and place together in a large mixing bowl, side by side, and throw in the avocado stone (an old wives' tale I know, but it does seem to work!). When you are ready to eat, simply chop the coriander, dress the salad and gently mix it altogether.
1 tin of organic black beans
1 small red onion
1 generous handful of cherry tomatoes
2 handfuls of baby spinach
1 bunch of coriander
toasted sesame seeds, or desiccated coconut to garnish
1 tablespoon of rice vinegar
1 tablespoon of toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons of flavourless oil (rapeseed)
1 tablespoon of miso paste (field bean barley miso)
1 lime, zest and juice
First, make the dressing. I find old jam jars unrivalled. Simply pour all the measured ingredients into the jar, screw on the lid, and shake shake shake. This quantity of dressing should fit the amount of salad above, but if you have any left-over, or wish to make extra, keep it in the fridge.
Drain the beans and rinse well. Perhaps lay the beans on some kitchen roll for a few minutes to absorb any excess moisture avoiding a sorry, wet salad.
Very finely dice the red onion. (If stronger raw onion is not to your taste, maybe use spring onions instead).
Chop the avocado and mango, and quarter the cherry tomatoes.
Finely chop the coriander, and the raw baby spinach.
In a dry pan, or under a pre-heated grill, toast either the sesame seeds or the desiccated coconut; both will be a pretty and tasty garnish. Watch both carefully as, undoubtedly, they’ll turn from toasted to burnt the second you turn your back!
Truly, sunshine on a plate!