• Yield: Serves 4 to 6

  • Time: 15 minutes plus 1 hour marinating time prep, 15 minutes cooking, 1 hour and 30 minutes total

This healthy salad belongs in every summer refrigerator. It’s just right for a light lunch or as a side with summer’s grilled fare. In hot weather, don’t hesitate to open cans of organic beans rather than heating up your kitchen.


  • Juice of a whole large lemon, or more to taste

  • 1 whole small head very young garlic, sliced into thin strips, or 2 large mature garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin (toasted for 2 minutes in a dry skillet)

  • 2 15-ounce cans black beans or pinto beans, rinsed and drained

  • 1/4 cup good-tasting extra-virgin olive oil, or to taste

  • 1/4 tightly packed cup flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped

  • 1/2 tightly packed cup fresh spearmint leaves, coarsely chopped


1. In a large bowl, combine the lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper and cumin. Let stand for 15 minutes. Toss in the beans with the olive oil. Let stand for an hour at room temperature, or refrigerate until about 30 minutes before serving.

2. To serve, bring the beans to room temperature. Taste for lemon, salt and pepper. Then fold in the fresh herbs. Serve cool or at room temperature.

From A Summertime Grilling Guide by Lynne Rossetto Kasper and Sally Swift. Copyright © 2012 by American Public Media.

Sally Swift
Sally Swift is the managing producer and co-creator of The Splendid Table. Before developing the show, she worked in film, video and television, including stints at Twin Cities Public Television, Paisley Park, and Comic Relief with Billy Crystal. She also survived a stint as segment producer on The Jenny Jones Show.
Lynne Rossetto Kasper
Lynne Rossetto Kasper has won numerous awards as host of The Splendid Table, including two James Beard Foundation Awards (1998, 2008) for Best National Radio Show on Food, five Clarion Awards (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2014) from Women in Communication, and a Gracie Allen Award in 2000 for Best Syndicated Talk Show.