Again with the culinary mad science. Faced with that 54 pounds of fresh strawberries that I may have mentioned before, my brain has been spinning out of control with ideas about how to use them. It started churning as we were in the fields picking, and it continues to spin like a whirling dervish. Last night, I started playing with the idea of strawberries and black beans together. Because I really enjoy black beans. But it didn't seem like a natural fit at first...until I started to think salsa. Strawberries, black beans, cilantro, pineapple, green onions, and a little kick of pepper...awwwwww yeah.
Simple? Absolutely. Take a 15 ounce can of black beans, drain and rinse them. Take an 8 ounce can of crushed pineapple in juice, and drain off some (but not all!) of the juice. Chop up a cup and a half of strawberries into a small dice. Chop up some fresh cilantro until you have about 2 tablespoons chopped. Chop up some hot pepper to your taste. I had some fire roasted chilies in my freezer from last year's harvest, and those were really potent, so I only used about a teaspoon of that, chopped up. Jalapeno would be good in this too. Make it to your own spicy comfort level. And not pictured in this photo (oops, sorry!), chop 2 green onions and toss those in as well.
Add a pinch of salt to season, give it a mix, and you're good to go. Let it sit for a while to blend the flavors, and it gets better with time.
This salsa pulls off a nice balance between light and hearty. The fruit doesn't weigh you down, but the beans give it some substance to stick with you. It's colorful and makes a gorgeous addition to a summer picnic or buffet table.
Honestly, I could basically eat this as a salad. It would also be great over some grilled chicken or pork.
Only 50 pounds left of these strawberries to go... ;)