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Start with a convenient can of earthy black beans, then stir them into a deeply fragrant pile of shallot, parsley, basil, and carrot.

Toss the whole thing in a blissful blend of red miso, fruity olive oil, and a big shot of lime juice. What you get is a dead-simple salad to pile atop toasted slices of crusty bread, which make a gorgeous foil for the assertive dressing. The whole thing is colorful without being fussy, and is hearty yet fresh and undeniably zippy. For the biggest lime punch, serve the dish immediately. Alternately, make it a few hours in advance to let the flavors come together and the lime mellow a bit.

Black Bean, Lime, and Herb Salad Crostini

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serves 4 as a small course or 2 as a main

2 TBSP apple cider vinegar

1 tsp natural cane sugar (evaporated cane juice)

1 tsp salt

2 TBSP water

1 carrot, cut into small 1/4-inch dice

1 15-oz can black beans

1/2 tsp red miso

1 small garlic clove, minced

juice of 1 lime

2 TBSP olive oil

1/4 cup packed fresh basil leaves

1/2 cup packed fresh parsley leaves

1 small shallot

freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

bread slices from about half a baguette

In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, sugar, salt, and water. Add carrot dice and let marinate 15-20 minutes, while you prepare the rest of the salad.

Drain and rinse the black beans. Set aside in a sieve to let drain thoroughly.

In another small bowl, whisk together miso, minced garlic, lime juice, and oil. Set aside.

Chop well the basil and parsley. Add it to a mixing bowl. Finely chop the shallot and add to herbs. Add drained black beans.

Drain carrots and add to the mixing bowl. Give the dressing another whisk and pour in. Toss thoroughly and add a generous amount of freshly cracked black pepper, to taste.

Toast the baguette slices and serve immediately. Alternately, salad can be assembled a few hours before serving.