If you think that you don't like either cilantro or assertively spicy food, this salad could change your mind, as it did mine. The flavors play off each other, creating a dish even better than the sum of its parts. Like any recipe that's been passed down through generations, there are many different versions of this, some with plum jam, pomegranate juice and seeds, ground coriander, marigold, cinnamon, or all of the above, but I just make it the way my mother-in-law does — crunchy, spicy and tangy.

Makes 2 cups
1 garlic clove, minced
1 to 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
1/2 to 1 whole jalapeno pepper, minced
1/2 red onion, finely diced
1/4 cup walnuts, finely chopped, not ground
3 tablespoons white vinegar
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 15-ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
Salt and pepper to taste
Whisk first seven ingredients in a bowl, stir in kidney beans and season to taste.


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