Now this is what I call a salad! We love salads and some of our favorite salads have beans as a primary ingredient. This Spicy Bean Salad was made with chipotle seasoned bolita beans that I cooked up last weekend; however, pinto beans or black beans could also be used. Below is a recipe for this wonderful Spicy Bean Salad as well as a recipe for Spicy Bolita (or Pinto) Beans.
(If you aren’t familiar with bolita beans, keep reading. I talk more about them later on in this post.)
Spicy Bean Salad Recipe
Prep and Cook Time:
If you use canned beans – less than 30 minutes.
If you cook your own – 2 to 3 hours.
4 to 6 large leaves lettuce, shredded
1 to 1 ½ cup Spicy Bolita (or Pinto) Beans (with a little of the bean sauce)
1 tomato, chopped
1 avocado, chopped
½ cup sweet onion, minced
8 large pimento-stuffed green olives, sliced
½ cup feta cheese, crumbled
Sea salt (optional)
Juice from half a lime
2 to 3 Tbsp. canola oil
1 tsp. honey (optional)
- Divide the shredded lettuce between two plates.
- Top each plate with half of each of the remaining ingredients. You can arrange the ingredients any way you want – lined up side-by-side , in small individual piles around the plates, or piled high.
- Drizzle a little dressing over each salad. This salad really doesn’t need much dressing because of the bean sauce, so go light.
- Sprinkle with a touch of sea salt, if desired. (With the feta and olives it’s already plenty salty, but you could put a touch on the avocado.)
Other ingredient suggestions:
For vegan – eliminate the feta
The Bolita Bean
From my recent posts, you know that we love beans. A few weeks ago I wrote a post on the black bean and then one with a potpourri of black bean recipes. Today I’m going to talk about the bolita bean, similar to a pinto bean but a little sweeter and easier on the digestive system. Several years ago a friend turned me on to bolita beans and now I cook them as much as I cook pintos.
If you’re not familiar with the bolita bean, it is a small pinkish bean similar in shape and size to the pinto (as you can see in the pictures). It’s grown locally here in New Mexico which makes me happy since I do try to buy local as much as I can. The stories say that Spanish settlers introduced the bolita when they settled into northern New Mexico. It is currently grown throughout the Four Corners area and other parts of the southwest. Apparently, it is a good crop for this area because its root system is deep making it able to withstand dry spells and drier climates like ours.
I use the bolita beans in the same way that I would use pinto beans. The dried beans cook up pretty much the same, although I believe the bolita cooks a little faster. I haven’t actually timed it so I can’t say for sure. For the following recipe you can use either bolita or pinto beans. In the Kitchen Notes I tell you how to convert this recipe into a quickie where you can use canned pintos.
Spicy Bolita (or Pinto) Beans Recipe
Yields: 6 to 7 cups
Prep and Cook Time: 1 to 2 hours with a 4 hour brine OR less than 30 minutes using canned beans
2 cups dried bolita or pinto beans (See Kitchen Notes below if you want to use canned beans)
6 large cloves garlic, minced
½ onion, finely chopped
½ tsp. cumin
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. red chile powder
3 dried chipotle peppers (stems removed) or 1 Tbsp. red chile paste
To learn more about brining and pressure cooking beans, see Pressure Cooked Black Beans.
- Brine the beans in a large bowl for 4 hours in 1 Tbsp. salt and enough water to cover beans by at least an inch. Drain and rinse.
- Transfer to pressure cooker. Add enough water to cover the beans and then 2 inches above.
- Add the remaining ingredients.
- Pressure cook for 20 minutes according to directions for your pressure cooker. Let the cooker depressurize for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Taste beans for doneness and seasoning. If they aren’t done, then continue to simmer until done. Keep an eye on the liquid. If it gets low, add about 1/2 cup water and continue to simmer.
- Once done, remove the chipotle peppers. If you want more heat, chop the chipotle peppers and return to the beans.
Use the beans in variety of dishes. See Kitchen Notes below.
Dried vs. canned beans – I usually cook a pot of dried beans on the weekend and then use them for a couple of meals during the week. However, if you don’t have time or want to cook up a pot of beans, you can still make this recipe using canned beans. It would only take about 20 minutes after which you can use some of the beans in the Spicy Bean Salad.
Here’s how to make spicy beans using 2 cans of beans (3 to 4 cups) and the ingredients listed above. I would cut the ingredients in half if only using 2 cans.
- Saute the garlic, onion and cumin in 1 Tbsp. oil on medium-low for 4 minutes.
- Add 2 cans of pinto beans (3 to 4 cups). (Do not drain)
- Add oregano, red chile powder and 2 to 3 chopped chipotle peppers in adobo sauce.
- Simmer for 10 minutes or until the sauce thickens.
Types of beans – This recipe works great with bolita, pinto and black beans.
Suggested uses –
- A hot bowl of beans with a few select toppings and a warm tortilla
- Spicy bean burrito, taco or tostada
- Spicy bean enchiladas
- Spicy beans and rice
- Topping on baked potato or sweet potato
- Side for grilled meats
- Ingredient in Spicy Bean Salad
For a little information about a lot of different varieties of beans, lentils and peas, visit Purcell Mountain Farms. (This is not an endorsement of the site. It just has good information.)
This post has been linked to the following blog hops. Please click on the links to see more delicious recipes.
Weekend Potluck, Jennifer Cooks, Mix it Up Monday, My Meatless Monday, Midnight Maniac Meatless Monday, Made with Love Mondays, Just Another Meatless Monday, Made From Scratch Tuesday, Tuesday Tasty Tidbits, What’s Cooking Wednesday, Whole Food Wednesday, Full Plate Thursday, Taste This Thursday, Allergy Free Wednesday, What’s Cooking Love?, Frugal Food Thursday, Whole Foods Wednesday, Summer Salad Sunday, Gluten-Free Wednesday