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Black Bean Cake Salad

July 23, 2008

I finally located this recipe, which was a request by Haley. It’s take a great vegetarian salad from Food & Wine with a few slight changes. I mostly fooled with the salad part, which you can customize for whatever you have on hand. You could also make these into a sort of Mexican-inspired falafel but putting the cakes and some of the salad components into a tortilla, then drizzle with salsa and sour cream. This is a pretty easy weeknight dish, and of course, great leftovers.


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more for frying
  • 1 small onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • Two 15-ounce cans black beans, drained (I buy the Pubilx seasoned beans. They are a little saucier, but really flavorful. Drain as best you can in a fine mesh sieve, but don’t rinse.)
  • 1 1/4 cups plain dry bread crumbs
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • Sour cream for topping cakes
  • Tomatillo sauce (I buy one of the cans of Herdez salsa verde and it’s the perfect amount, or you can use salsa)
  • Salad: greens, sliced avocado, fresh sauteed corn, cilantro leaves and chopped tomatoes make a great salad. Some crumbled cotija cheese is also a good addition.


  1. Heat the 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a non-stick skillet. Add the onion and garlic and cook over moderate heat just until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the cumin and cayenne and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Scrape the onion mixture into the bowl of a food processor. Add 1 1/2 cups of the beans and pulse until the mixture is finely chopped but not smooth. Scrape the mixture into a medium bowl. Mix in the remaining whole beans and 1/2 cup of the bread crumbs and season with salt and pepper. (If the cakes are too wet, add more breadcrumbs until you can form them into patties). Form the mixture into twelve 1/4-cup patties, about 1/2 inch thick.
  2. Put the flour, beaten eggs and the remaining 3/4 cup of bread crumbs into 3 shallow bowls. Dust each black bean cake with the flour, tapping off the excess. Dip the cakes in the egg and then in the bread crumbs, pressing so that the bread crumbs adhere.
  3. In a large non-stick skillet, heat a few tablespoons of oil until hot. Add the cakes and fry over moderate heat until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels. Serve on top of the salad and drizzle cakes with sour cream and tomatillo sauce or salsa.
One Comment leave one →
  1. Amanda permalink
    October 11, 2008 6:00 pm

    Received rounds of applause from mother, father, and boyfriend! And while Addie did not enjoy eating it so much, she really enjoyed helping make it, especially putting her hands in the bowls of flour and bread crumbs and eggs.

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