I had a nice big pork roast in the freezer, and was trying to figure out what to do with it. We'd had my Apricot Pork Tenderloin last week, and I didn't want to hear the kids to say, "Pork again ?" I had used a package of dry herb and garlic soup/dip mix before on a pork roast, so I rubbed that mixture all over the meat, slow roasted it, and stuck it in the fridge (you can roast it any way you want). Half of it went to my friend with a new baby, and I decided to make sandwiches with the rest. David bought sliced cheese for our beach trip, and we had some left over, and there were ciabatta rolls in the freezer. I try to use things we already have to put meals together; like most families, we don't want food to go to waste.
I remembered this salad when I was digging into my recipe box for a side dish to go with the sandwiches. This recipe was from a student in my first year of teaching class. As a wedding/end of the year present, all the kids compiled their favorite recipes in a pretty wooden recipe box, and each recipe card had their picture on it. The box has been in my kitchen ever since, and I love it.
This salad has a couple of other names I've heard over the years, "Confetti Salad," or "Texas Caviar." I'm sticking with "Black Bean Salad" just because. It's super easy to make, and it's best made early in the day or even the day before is fine. As it sits in the fridge and marinates, the flavor improves. I also love it because all the colors in the salad make for a pretty side dish.
A few tips when you're making this salad. Use just the cilantro leaves, wash, and dry them well before adding them to the bowl, this makes the dressing less watery. I also wash, core, and take the seeds out of the tomatoes so it doesn't water down the salad. Just use a little knife and cut out the core, then scrap out the seeds-- I do this right in the sink and let the disposal take care of the scraps. I use the little roma tomatoes because they're meatier and will hold up in the salad.
I also toasted my bread with just a little bit of butter... I think it just takes an ordinary bun to a higher level. And the cilantro mayo is just 4 ingredients, so don't be intimidated; it adds great flavor to the pork. Feel free to substitute any other kind of meat or cheese.
Roasted Pork Sandwich with Cilantro Mayo and Black Bean Salad
ROASTED PORK SANDWICH:
1 2-3 pound boneless pork loin, roasted the way you like it, thinly sliced
1/2 pound of sliced cheese (swiss, provolone, monterery jack, etc.)
1 beefsteak tomato, sliced
4 ciabatta rolls, or other sturdy bun/roll, toasted
1/3 cup mayo or miracle whip
4 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped
Salt and black pepper to taste
BLACK BEAN SALAD:
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (15 ounces) corn, drained
3 roma tomatoes, cored and chopped
1 small red onion, chopped
1 medium green pepper, chopped
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
1/2 cup Italian dressing (light dressing works fine)
1/2 teaspooon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco/hot sauce
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
Combine all salad ingredients in a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Serves 6-8 people.
For the cilantro mayo, combine the cilantro, mayo (we are not a mayo house, we like miracle whip), salt and pepper (to your taste) in a small bowl. Chill until needed.
For the sandwiches, on a toasted bun/roll, layer the cilantro mayo, pork, cheese, and tomatoes. If you have store-bought tomatoes, season them with a little salt and pepper, since they'll need it. Spread the cilantro mayo on the other side of the bun (or use some mustard like my husband did), cap the sandwich, and serve.
All my kids really liked the sandwich, and 2 of them liked the salad. For me, that's good enough.
God bless your table tonight!