Black Bean Salsa Recipe


This salsa has a very striking appearance. It is rare to find a black spice and it provides a wonderful contrast to the more common reds and greens on the plate.


130g/4 1/2oz/generous 1/2 cup black beans, soaked overnight in water
1 pasado chili
2 fresh red Fresno chilies
1 red onion
grated (shredded) rind and juice of 1 lime
30mI/2 tbsp Mexican beer (optional)
15ml/1 tbsp olive oil
small bunch of fresh coriander (cilantro), chopped

1. Drain the beans, rinse them thoroughly and put them in a large pan. Pour in water to cover. Do not add salt as this toughens the outside skin and prevents the bean from cooking properly. Place the lid on the pan and bring to the boil.

Lower the heat slightly and simmer the beans for about 40 minutes or until tender. They should still have a little bite and should not have begun to disintegrate. Drain, rinse under cold water, then drain again and leave the beans until cold.

2. Soak the pasado chili in hot water for about 20 minutes until softened. Drain, remove the stalk, then slit the chili and, using a small sharp knife, scrape out the seeds and discard them. Chop the flesh finely.

3. Spear the Fresno chilies on a long-handled metal skewer and roast them over the flame of a gas burner, turning the chilies all the time, until the skins blister and darken. Do not let the flesh burn. Alternatively, dry-fry them in a griddle pan until the skins are scorched.

4. Place the roasted chilies in a strong plastic bag and tie the top to keep the steam in. Set aside for 20 minutes.

5. Meanwhile, chop the red onion finely. Remove the chilies from the bag and peel off the skins. Slit them, remove and discard the seeds, and chop them finely.

6. Tip the beans into a bowl and add the onion and both types of chili. Stir in the lime rind and juice, and beer, if using, then add the oil and coriander. Season with salt and mix well. Leave the salsa for a day or two to allow the flavors to develop fully. Serve chilled.

COOK’S TIP: Pasado chilies are always sold in their dried, roasted form. Dark, almost black, in color, they have a subtle citrus flavor and are only mildly hot.

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