It is officially summertime and that means I begin to crave spicy food and the refreshing taste of sweet farm fresh vegetables. I mean really, what better way to give your tomatoes a kick then to make a delicious salsa? Pair it with a great smooth, garlicky guacamole and ya add some kick with spicy black beans and you have yourself a fiesta for your mouth! At this point in my imagination, Moroccas are shaking and I am on a very nice beach somewhere. Anything I can do to keep this tropical vision alive while eating a good meal makes me one happy gal.
Now, I must admit, I love avocado. I eat one almost every day. They are so smooth and delicious. When you add even the smallest amount of pepper or blend it with anything at all, avocados are transformed into something absolutely magical and delicious. Whether it’s sweet or savory, avocados are a must in my kitchen. It’s making me wonder if I should just run away and work on an avocado farm. All this to say, that avocados are the base to my favourite Mexican dip: Guacamole.
I was craving Mexican food, and thanks to some generous farmers at a Farmers Market near Nanaimo, BC, I found myself with a free bag of collard greens. I love collard greens, not only because they add a great taste to stir-fry’s, but also because they make a great wrap! I’ve even used them instead of a hamburger bun, and it’s delicious. So I set out to make spicy black beans with fresh salsa and guacamole, all wrapped up in a large collard green leaf. This recipe was very DIY, so feel free to spice it up anyway you want. I definitely recommend the methods of cooking I use, but feel free to experiment with different spices and measurements.
Spicy Black Beans
½ Large Spanish Onion
1 Can Black Beans
1-2 tsp Garam Masala
½-1 tsp Mexican Chili Powder
On medium heat, add olive oil or butter to a frying pan. I always caramelize onions in a pan first, and then when they are sufficiently soaked and beginning to caramelize, I add in the Mexican Chili Powder. In a separate pan, I fry the black beans lightly in a cooking oil of choice and as they begin to mush, I add in the Garam Masala. After a minute or two (or until the powder is soaked into the beans), I put half the bean mixture in a food processor to make them really mushy and add this new bean mush to the black beans sitting on low heat in a pan. I then add the onions to the bean mixture and keep warm on low. Eventually, you add just a bit of salt and pepper and you end up with a delicious black bean mix.
Lemon Juice (I cut off a quarter of a lemon and squeezed it over the avocado)
1 Garlic Piece (crushed)
Start by mushing one avocado in a bowl using a fork. Add in your crushed garlic and slowly start to squeeze a lemon. I recommend adding in as much lemon juice as you want. Just remember to take it slow…one excited grip on that lemon and you end up with a guacamole that is way too acidic and lemon-y. Aha perhaps keep the fiesta on pause while you make the guacamole.
½ Large Tomato
¼ Cup Red Onion
1 Garlic Piece (crushed)
¼ hot pepper
Handful Fresh Cilantro
Chop the tomato and onion into small cubes, or whatever shape you want! Just make sure both are finely chopped as you want all the tomato juice and small chunks of onion, as they are easier to eat. Add in your crushed garlic and hot pepper, giving it a quick stir. Add in the Cilantro (again, I would start out small and add in more cilantro if desired) and you have a great, fresh tasting salsa. Add any other ingredients, like peppers or corn, and don’t be afraid to experiment.
After these few things are made, you place them all on top of a collard green and wrap it up. The salsa will soak up the collard greens and the black beans and avocado create a smooth, delicious taste. Because it is wrapped in greens I always go back for more. I work up quite an appetite shaking my booty to Spanish music and making Mexican food. This is your fiesta, so make it one that will make you scream mucho delicioso!
Kick back and enjoy.