Black Bean Salad

by May 5, 2024

Where I grew up in Almaden Valley, a suburb of San Jose, California, my mom and the other ladies on our street passed recipes on 3-by-5 cards. I’ve inherited the collection, and those from both grandmothers, and I can’t see ever parting with them. Some of those recipes are still relevant today, and this salad is one of them. I’ve upgraded the vinegar and oil but other than that, it’s circa 1970.

Great for potlucks, picnics, grilling outside, and bringing to people in need of a meal. If you have a nice avocado, it goes great (however that was not my luck today for the photo. Ha!)

For reference: How to Cook Beans

Black Bean Salad

serves 6–8


  • 3 cups cooked black beans, drained 8 ounces cooked from dry or one big can, 29-ounce drained and rinsed
  • 1 red, orange, or yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 green onions, whites chopped, greens cut thinly on bias
  • 1 jalapeño, flesh cut from seed core and minced (discard seed core)
  • several stems cilantro, chopped about ½ cup
  • 1 lemon, zested and reserved for dressing


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil California Olive Ranch
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar Sanchez Romate for sherry, Banyuls for red
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon flake salt or sea salt Maldon


  1. Put beans, chopped vegetables, and lemon zest in a medium bowl. Drizzle with dressing ingredients and stir gently. Allow flavors to mingle before serving. Keep refrigerated. Keeps for about a week.



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