← Back to Search Results
Caribbean, Latin American
Black Bean, Tropical Fruit, and Queso Blanco Salsa

Photo by: Joseph De Leo
Comments: 0
 

Recipe

My talented friend chef Douglas Rodriguez gave me the inspiration for this salsa one night at a fantastic party he threw. Queso blanco, a staple of Latin cuisine, is uniquely textured, simply yet assertively flavored, and quite pleasant to nibble. In this recipe, the cheese balances the acidity of the orange and mango. A no-brainer with chips, queso blanco salsa is a great accompaniment to grilled chicken breasts as well. You can prepare the dressing up to a day before you assemble the salsa. And the salsa is also a good day-after leftover—assuming there is any left over.

Yield: Makes 4 cups

Ingredients

FOR THE SALSA

  • 1 cup cooked black beans or well-rinsed canned beans
  • 1/3 cup finely diced red bell pepper
  • ¼ cup finely chopped scallions, white and light green parts only
  • 1 Scotch bonnet chile, stemmed, seeded, and minced
  • ¾ cup crumbled queso blanco
  • ¾ cup diced mango
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped orange sections
  • 1½ teaspoons Spanish sherry vinegar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
  • 1 cup diced ripe avocado

FOR THE DRESSING

  • 1½ teaspoons minced shallot
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped Italian parsley
  • ½ teaspoon toasted and ground cumin seeds 
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • Kosher salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoons Spanish sherry vinegar
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

Directions

For the salsa

In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients except the avocado in the order listed. Very gently fold in the avocado, to avoid smashing the delicate ingredients. Cover and refrigerate until chilled.

For the dressing

In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients and whisk them well. Cover and refrigerate.To serve, gently fold the dressing into the salsa. Season to taste and serve.

Notes

Recommended wine: A rich tropical fruit Chardonnay with good acidity.

Toasting and Grinding Spices, Nuts, and Seeds When Columbus went looking for Asia and bumped into the Americas, he was on a voyage financed by Spain with the understanding that he would find a better route to the spice markets of India—an illustration of how central spices have always been to cuisine. But spices, like other comestibles, are subject to loss of flavor if not properly prepared. Toasting whole spices, and, usually, grinding them, is the way to get maximum flavor from them. This is extremely easy to do: Gently warm the seeds or other whole spices in a dry skillet over medium heat. Once they become aromatic, they are toasted. When they have cooled a bit, grind them in a spice mill (or a clean coffee grinder) or with a mortar and pestle. Toasting and grinding awakens the oils and aromatics within them. With spices like pepper and cumin, for example, which are staples of my cooking, you can prepare a batch of the toasted ground spice and keep it around for up to 2 weeks.

The same principles apply to toasting nuts: the heat maximizes their flavor. Grinding makes them the proper consistency for cooking in soups and stews.


© 2003 Norman Van Aken
 

Nutritional Information

Nutrients per serving (% daily value)

Nutritional information is based on 16 servings and includes 1/2 teaspoon of added salt.

94kcal (5%)
53mg (5%)
14mg (23%)
12mcg RAE (0%)
136mg
15mg
3g
2g
2g
6g
6mg (2%)
145mg (6%)
2g (9%)
7g (10%)
0mg (3%)
 

Would you like to leave a comment about this recipe?

Notify me of new comments on this recipe. Add comment

We'd love to hear what you think!

Please or to add a comment to this recipe.
 

Sign up for
The Cookstr Weekly

Free handpicked cookbook recipes delivered straight to your inbox

Explore Cookbooks on Cookstr

lucid-food Lucid Food
by Louisa Shafia
the-sushi-experience The Sushi Experience
by Hiroko Shimbo
david-burkes-new-american-classics David Burke's New American ...
by David Burke, Judith Choate
125-best-cupcake-recipes 125 Best Cupcake Recipes
by Julie Hasson
big-fat-cookies Big Fat Cookies
by Elinor Klivans
complete-book-of-indian-cooking-350-recipes-from-the-regions-of-india Complete Book of Indian Coo...
by Suneeta Vaswani
rosas-new-mexican-table-friendly-recipes-for-festive-meals Rosa's New Mexican Table: F...
by Roberto Santibanez
125-best-vegan-recipes 125 Best Vegan Recipes
by Maxine Effenson Chuck, Beth Gurney
the-whole-beast-nose-to-tail-eating The Whole Beast: Nose to Ta...
by Fergus Henderson
the-country-cooking-of-ireland The Country Cooking of Ireland
by Colman Andrews
sunday-suppers-at-lucques Sunday Suppers at Lucques
by Suzanne Goin
urban-italian-simple-recipes-and-true-stories-from-a-life-in-food Urban Italian: Simple Recip...
by Andrew Carmellini
Already a member? Click here to Log In
close

Sign up to Cookstr!

  • Receive a free, handpicked selection of recipes in your inbox weekly
  • Save, share and comment on your favorite recipes in My Cookstr
  • Get updates on new Cookstr features and tools







By signing up you accept the
Terms of Use and Privacy Policy
Spinner
New to Cookstr? Click here to Sign Up
close


Forgot your password? Click here
close
Thanks for commenting!
Would you like to share your comment on Facebook or Twitter?