This is an earthy salsa that I find very satisfying in the winter, when tomatoes aren't as good as they are during the summer. Personally, I like to cook the beans myself, because I find canned beans too mushy and salty. If you're using canned beans, however, be sure to rinse them thoroughly so that they don't discolor the other ingredients. Also, I tried to give a range for each ingredient other than the beans and sweet potatoes, because the balance here is very much a matter of personal taste. The only thing I would insist on is that the sweet potatoes and beans be in a 1 to 1 ratio. If you can't find ripe (red) jalapeños, I would use a mix of green jalapeños and some other red chile. The red is mainly chosen for its visual impact anyway. —Collin
sweet potatoes, about ¼ inch dice
black beans (if using canned black beans, rinse them thoroughly)
½ to 1 cups
diced red onion
2-4 cloves minced garlic
2-3 fresh ripe (that is to say, red) jalapeños or 1-2 fresh chiles de arbol, stemmed, seeded (don’t forget to remove the ribs!) and chopped.
Heat the olive oil in a non-stick pan until it's good and hot, and add the sweet potatoes. Sauté over medium-high heat, stirring and tossing regularly, until cooked through and nicely caramelized — about 15 minutes.
Add the garlic and sauté for one minute longer.
Toss with the remaining ingredients and salt to taste. Let sit for at least 30 minutes before serving – stirring twice in that time.
Use anywhere you would use a salsa fresca — with chips, topping a taco, soup, some fish or chicken. Personally, I like it with chips and fresh margarita.