Sunday, August 30, 2009

Summer is almost over so I will be publishing my favorite recipes of the season. Soon I will be moving on to squash, apples, and sage, so let's enjoy the hot weather Caribbean flavors while we can! Here is an old favorite that I return to year after year when the weather heats up and it's too hot to eat anything heavy.

Enjoy these Barbados Black Bean Cakes as an appetizer, hors d'oeuvre, 1st course, or light entree. They are healthy, hearty, and a little bit exotic.
Barbados Black Bean Cakes with Mango Salsa
adapted from The Vegetarian Times Cookbook

This is one of my favorite recipes. It is delicious and filling and can be elegant or casual, depending on presentation. If you want to make it vegan, replace the egg with "egg replacer" or arrowroot. Don't simply omit it or they will fall apart in the frying pan.

2 c peeled, diced mango
1/2 c diced red pepper
1/4 c finely diced red onion
1 serrano pepper, seeded and minced
2 T coarsely chopped cilantro leaves
2 t minced ginger
1 T fresh lime juice

Combine salsa ingredients in a mixing bowl and set aside. This can be made up to 12 hours in advance and chilled. If you do this, be sure to remove the take the salsa out to come closer to room temperature before serving.

Two 15 oz cans black beans, rinsed and drained
¼ c chopped fresh cilantro leaves
½ c chopped red onion, sauteed in olive oil 2 minutes
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 t ground cumin
1 t minced garlic
½ t ground allspice
1/8 t cayenne pepper
1/3 c whole wheat bread crumbs
Canola oil
Freshly chopped cilantro and lime wedges to garnish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine salsa ingredients and set aside.

Place beans in a large bowl and mash them together a bit. Add the cilantro, onion, egg, cumin, garlic, allspice, and cayenne. Mix until well blended.

Divide the mixture into 8 equal parts. Shape into ½ inch thick patties. Set up a plate or bowl with bread crumbs. Dredge the patties in bread crumbs and pan fry in batches using olive oil.

Serve on mixed greens with mango salsa on top as a light entree or first course. Make patties into tiny 1" rounds for elegant hors d'oeuvres.

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