Monday, August 29, 2011

Corn and Black Bean Salad

As you may have noticed, I'm on a bit of a sweet corn kick. I just can't help it. It's August, and the corn tastes like candy. It's Halloween for grown-ups.

I snagged a few ears at the farmer's market, and set off to make this recipe for a BBQ we were having. Burgers on the grill and fresh sweet corn. It smelled like summer. It tasted like summer. It WAS summer. 

Serve this as a side dish. Scoop it up with tortilla chips, if you're so inclined. But do it quickly because the sweet corn won't last forever.

P.S. Although I looove raw onion, it doesn't always love me back. I like to make the dressing for this recipe an hour or two before I finish the salad. I find the vinegar in the dressing takes the bite out of the raw scallions when it sits for a bit. Please note: This is not at all scientifically based; there's a good chance it's in my head. But I'm a firm believer in the placebo effect.

Corn and Black Bean Salad
Serves: 8

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (Use the good stuff here.)
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (about 1.5 small limes)
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
3 large scallions, thinly sliced (Use the white, light, and dark green parts.)
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
Salt and pepper, to taste

8 ears corn on the cob, husks and silk removed
1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons minced cilantro
1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved (or quartered if large)
Salt and pepper, to taste

Combine all the dressing ingredients and whisk together. If you'd like to let the onion mellow, set dressing aside for about an hour.

Meanwhile, bring a very large pot of water to a boil. Add the corn and cook until just tender, about 4 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water until it's cooled to the touch. Cut the corn off the cob and place in a large bowl. (See my post on Therese's Corn and Tomato Salad for pictures of this step.)

Add black beans and cilantro to the corn. Whisk dressing again to combine, and stir it into the salad. Stop to appreciate how beautiful summer heirloom tomatoes really are.

Then, gently fold tomatoes into the salad. Taste and, if necessary, add more salt and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to serve (up to a day.) If desired, serve with tortilla chips.

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