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Beach Treasures and Black Bean Salad with Lime Dressing

What do you look for when you’re at the beach? Sea glass? Smooth white stones? Perfect seashells?

I love how at first glance a beach can look like pristine sand or a blanket of water-smoothed pebbles, but once you get down on your hands and knees there are SO many treasures and delights to be found.

I look for different things according to the beach I’m exploring.

When I lived in Portugal I found hundreds of teeny-tiny shells about the size of a lentil. I collected them and have them safe in a pretty glass jar.

In Italy and the Balkans I looked for smooth sea glass in shades of green, turquoise and blue. I have those bits in a different jar.

In Washington I always look for the shells that are like a purple watercolor inside, and display them in a pale gray dish on my coffee table.

After a long day of exploring in the wind and sun, I love coming home to something hearty and healthy with bright colors and flavors like this Black Bean Salad with Lime Dressing. It’s so simple to make if you don’t mind a bit of chopping.

Just drain and rinse two cans of black beans and add whatever diced fresh veggies you like. My favorites are sweet bell peppers (capsicum to my Aussie readers), sugar snap peas, and celery, with lavish amounts of fresh cilantro. Then I toss everything with a simple dressing ofย  lime juice, olive oil, and a good, grainy mustard. I made it for the family I’m staying with and they cleaned up every morsel. ๐Ÿ™‚

What are your favorite treasures from the beach?

Black Bean Salad with Lime Dressing


2-3 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
2-3 stalks celery, diced fine
1 red or yellow or orange bell pepper, diced fine
1 cup sugar snap peas, sliced fine
2-3 scallions, sliced
1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1 Tbsp grainy mustard
salt and pepper to taste


  1. Combine beans, vegetables and cilantro in salad bowl. Toss to mix.
  2. In small bowl combine remaining ingredients and whisk until emulsified.
  3. Add dressing to salad and toss to incorporate. Best eaten right away.


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Feasting Inspired by the Mediterranean » Rambling Tart - […] Click here for my recipe […]

Duchess - that bean salad is so colorful and friendly looking!ย 

Anna Johnston - I never seem to get organised when I go for long beach walks, a friend of mine who lives on the coast collects sea glass too., she’s got them in glass jars all around the house, it looks amazing too.

Angie - The salad looks so fresh, colourful, and tasty!

Anita - My mouth watered when I first clicked on your page with this delicious bean saladย recipe.ย  In fact, I think I will make it for tomorrow.ย 
The beach:ย  there are so many wonders there hidden in sea and sand.ย 
Thank you for visiting my page and for sharing this wonderful recipe.ย 

Krista - Happy Friday to you too, dear Faith. ๐Ÿ™‚ So glad the salad makes you happy. ๐Ÿ™‚

Krista - Your salads sound delicious, Ksenia. ๐Ÿ™‚ I really like that idea of a plate of sand. It would look so peaceful. ๐Ÿ™‚

Krista - Thank you so much, Karen. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m really excited too! Hope you have a great weekend too. ๐Ÿ™‚

Krista - Thanks, Corinne! The beach is my haven too. ๐Ÿ™‚

Krista - What wonderful ideas for the sand you collect, Susan! ๐Ÿ™‚ I love that! I’m so glad you like the pictures too. ๐Ÿ™‚ I don’t use any special lenses and just this simple point and shoot camera – http://bit.ly/lnwvuh. ๐Ÿ™‚

Krista - Thank you, Isabelle. I’m so glad I finally got to go. I’ve really been missing the beach too.

Krista - Your walks on the beach sound so wonderful, Mia. ๐Ÿ™‚ I would love to see pictures of all the great things you see. ๐Ÿ™‚

Krista - Thank you so much, Susan. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m glad you like them!

Faith - Such beautiful beach treasures!ย  I love how you collect different treasures from different places you’ve been, Krista.ย  I love how bright and flavorful that salad is!ย  Makes me happy just to look at it.ย  ๐Ÿ™‚

Happy Friday, my friend!

Ksenia Klykova - I *love* this kind of salads. I usually just mix whatever I have on hand: lettuce, tomatoes, olives, parsley…Pasta and rice salads are another must during summer ๐Ÿ™‚
I usually don’t look for things in the beach, maybe because I live 10 minutes from it. But I sometimes I will pick up a seashell if it’s really beautiful. We have some ย big plate with sand in the living room and my mum creates some kind of ikebana, but with branches, seashells and stones.ย 

Karen - Krista, Amsterdam sounds too cool!! I’m so excited for you, what a wonderful adventure. I love your black bean salad – it’s the perfect dish after a morning spent on the beach. Have a wonderful weekend!

Corinne @ Gourmantic - I love the vibrant colours of that dish! The beach is my haven. What I look at? The blue of the water, and I let inspiration guide me.

Isabelle - Love the first picture … I miss the beach

thefisherlady - Yum Krista… I want to try that salad!
As for the beach, rocks and shells and different coloured sands from different lands. The sand is for sand drawing boxes and to layer in clear glass bottles or jars… the rocks and shells are tucked everywhere I want the reminder of beautiful past sea days… along a window, in front of the aquarium shelf, or occasionally arranged on the kitchen table as a centrepiece. I sometimes tuck them away in favourite little containers just to surprise me again years down the road when I happen to look in them and remember. Some rocks I save to paint on, usually made into lady bugs for my plants.
Your photos again are astounding! What kid of camera and lenses are you using? You see so much beauty through your eyes and we are so blessed that you share it with us! Thanks so much Krista; it always blesses my day!

Mia - ย i love mornings at the beach and now during the rains , the winds that blow and the sound of the waves is so beautiful!
I look for the friendly faces of the fisherman with their little boats and tiny fresh catch of the day , i look for little shells and more, infact i do go somethings to get my days cardio when the weather is good but skip my cam coz of the rains but wanna so muc click pics and share a post about my morns at the beach!
And the salad sure is a perfectly hearty meal to end the beachy day!

Susan - I can’t get over these photos, they’re beautiful!

Krista - Me too, Lisa! Isn’t it amazing how the time flies by when you’re treasure-hunting at the beach? ๐Ÿ™‚

Krista - I’m so happy to know you’re a shell fan too, Heguiberto. ๐Ÿ™‚ How wonderful to grow up on the beach in Brazil AND be living near one in California. You are a blessed fellow. ๐Ÿ™‚

Krista - Good question, Amy! I’m sure you could – we’d just need to find something equally tart to substitute – maybe some lime zest to give it an extra kick?

Krista - Oooo, I’ve never seen sharks teeth on a beach before, Val! That is a treasure indeed. ๐Ÿ™‚

Krista - Oh Darlene, both of your other salads sound fantastic!!! I will definitely be trying them – especially the mango one. I’m a fiend for mangoes. ๐Ÿ™‚

Krista - Thank you, Linda. I’m glad they cheer you too. ๐Ÿ™‚

Krista - I’m so glad you like sea glass too, Joanne. ๐Ÿ™‚ It IS beautiful. I hope your family loves the salad! ๐Ÿ™‚

Krista - I miss black beans when I’m in Europe too, Brenna. ๐Ÿ™‚

Krista - Hooray! I’m so glad, Zita. ๐Ÿ™‚ Please let me know how you like it. ๐Ÿ™‚

Krista - I adore lime too, Kristine! It makes me happy just thinking about it. ๐Ÿ™‚ Hope you love this salad as much as I do. ๐Ÿ™‚

Lisa - I love hunting for beautiful shells when I’m at the beach.ย  I could do it for hours!ย  Your photos are spectacular and that black bean salad is vibrant and stunning..not to mention delicious looking ๐Ÿ™‚ย  So glad you’re doing better.

Heguiberto - Krista,
Awesome pictures! I love the color and shape of sea shells. I used to collect them when I was a kid growing up in Brazil. It was fun searching for them at the beach. Here in California sometimes we see abalone shells washed out on the coast. They are huge and incredibly beautiful.ย I also like those intricate Asian furniture decorated with cuts of sea shells (mother-of-pearl).ย The bean salad looks amazing too. I can eat beans every day and never get tired of it. It’s in the blood, rice and beans are staples in Brazilian food.Cheers,Heguibertoย 

Akt122 - Ok – could I make this without the mustard? That looks so good, but can’t have mustard ๐Ÿ™‚

bellini - U have a jar of white sand from the beaches in Cancun and in it are some tiny sharks teeth from Florida, shells from Jamaica and …I think I need to explore some more:D The bean salad is amazing by the way!!!!!

darlene - I’m going to try this with lime.ย  Yum!ย  I make something very similar, but I always use a sushi vinegar mixed with olive oil and some garlic powder.ย  For veggies — usually red and green peppers, purple onions, tomatos, cukes, and radishes along with the black beans.ย  For another variation, try mango salad — chopped mangos (preferably slightly unripe), onions and tomatos, with a wee bit of salt and sugar to taste.ย  No dressing needed.

LindyLouMac in Italy - I just love your close up beach shots, oh and by the way you are right the latterini are delicious.

Joanne - I took some sea glass home from Italy also!ย  It is really beautiful stuff.

I love the sound of this salad. In fact, I think I might have to make it for my family’s father day get-together!

Fabuleuxdestinbrenna - Oh man, this makes me miss black beans so much! Looks yummy ๐Ÿ™‚

Fabuleuxdestinbrenna - Oh man, this makes me miss black beans so much! Looks yummy ๐Ÿ™‚

Zita - Yum! This salad is wonderful! I’m gonna make it!

Kristine - Oh, yum. I am SO going to make that salad at first chance! I look for any excuse to put lime on my food. My new favorite. Love the beach. And your post.ย 

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