When I think back to when I lived in California, I think of fresh produce and authentic Mexican food. While this certainly isn’t authentic, I had to call it a California salad because the flavors reminded me of San Diego. This gluten-free vegan salad is so easy to make and is the perfect menu item as I prepare to begin the school year again. It does need to marinate in the vinaigrette for at least 2 hours, so it might be easier to make it the evening before or the morning of and then have dinner ready when you come home. Also, I topped mine off with fresh avocado and extra cilantro just for an extra treat.
California Cilantro Black Bean Salad
3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup grapeseed oil
1 Tablespoon minced jalapeno
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
3 Tablespoons crushed garlic
1. In a lidded glass container, shake all ingredients together to combine. Set aside.
2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup jicama, cut into bite sized cubes
1 cup diced red onion
1 cup diced carrots
1 red bell pepper, cored, and diced
1 yellow bell pepper, cored, and diced
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1. Combine all ingredients in a large serving bowl and mix thoroughly. Pour vinaigrette on top and coat salad evenly with dressing. Refrigerate and allow to marinate for at least 2 hours. Season with salt and pepper if desired.