This savory Polenta with Black Beans and Mango Salsa recipe is from Mary McDougall, who is co-author of the newly-released book, The Starch Solution. The book, which includes more than 100 recipes from Mary, is based on Dr. John McDougall’s eating plan of fueling the body primarily on carbohydrates rather than protein and fats.
The Starch Solution is available on ForksOverKnives.com, where it is on sale for 15% off our regular price through Monday.
Polenta with Black Beans
Cooked polenta packaged in rolls makes an easy base for this and other dishes. Look for polenta that is fat-free and contains cornmeal, water, and few if any other ingredients other than herbs and spices.
Sidebar: Sliced, packaged polenta can be baked in the oven, as it is here, or cooked on a nonstick griddle until golden on both sides. Polenta is not difficult to make from scratch; use a good quality dry polenta (coarse cornmeal) and follow the package directions. The finished polenta should be thick enough that the mixing spoon stands up when you plunge it into the pan. To slice it, you will need to form it into rolls or press it into a pan and allow it to cool until it is firm enough to cut.
• 1 package (24 ounces) cooked polenta, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
• 1/2 cup vegetable broth
• 1 onion, chopped
• 1 red bell pepper, chopped
• 1 orange or yellow bell pepper, chopped
• 2 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
• 2 cans (15 ounces each) black beans, drained and rinsed
• 1 can (15 ounces) crushed tomatoes
• 1 can (4 ounces) diced green chiles
• 1 teaspoon chili powder
• 1 teaspoon ground cumin
• Dash or two of Tabasco or other hot sauce
• Freshly ground black pepper
• 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
• 2 cups Mango Salsa (page 306) or store bought mango salsa
Preheat the oven to 375oF.
Place the polenta slices on a nonstick baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.
While the polenta bakes, put the broth, onion, bell peppers, and garlic in a large saucepan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables soften, about 5 minutes. Add the black beans, tomatoes, chiles, chili powder, cumin, hot sauce, and a few mill twists of pepper. Cook 10 minutes. Taste and add more hot sauce if you wish. Stir in the cilantro and remove the saucepan from the heat.
To serve, arrange a few slices of polenta on each plate and top with the black bean mixture. Top with the Mango Salsa or serve it in a bowl on the side.
Makes 2 cups
We use this tropical salsa in our Polenta with Black Beans and Mango Salsa, and it is also a great condiment for other Mexican-style dishes. For a snack, try rolling up a warm corn tortilla and using it to scoop up some of this flavorful salsa.
• 2 cups peeled, chopped ripe mango
• 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
• 1/2 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
• 1 fresh jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped
• 1 small clove garlic, crushed or minced
• 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
• Freshly ground black pepper
Put the mango, onion, bell pepper, jalapeño, garlic, and vinegar into a bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of warm tap water and stir to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to 1 week before serving.