Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A Southwest Corn Salad with Black Beans and Peppers

aka Fiesta Salad, Mexicorn Salad, Confetti Corn Salad...

An explosion of color on a plate, this black bean, red pepper and corn salad sets the mood for any Cinco de Mayo feast. Throughout the year it's a versatile dish, a proven crowd pleaser whether served as a salad, side dish or even an appetizer. The basic ingredients, simple preparation and multi-day serving life combine to make this a go-to favorite. Corn salad accompanied Arroz con Pollo for a 2010 Cinco de Mayo dinner and it partnered with barbecued salmon and grilled meats throughout many cruising seasons afloat.     

I love a scoop of corn salad served on a bed of lettuce with avocado slices or chunks of Dungeness crab. RL enjoys his with extra salsa, scooped up with taco chips for an appetizer snack. 

Mix any leftover corn salad with a meltable cheese like pepper jack and you have a delicious filling for omelettes, quesadillas, tacos or enchiladas. A cup or two of this salad blend would add tasty crunch to a bowl of taco soup. Fill a bite-sized tortilla cup with a scoop of corn salad, top with a dab of sour cream and a cilantro leaf and you have a party snack. A breakfast choice? well, maybe (link). Not that we ever have much corn salad leftover.

Southwest Corn Salad

1 can black beans; drained, rinsed and drained again
2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels (Mexicorn is a good choice)
1 red pepper, seeded and chopped
1 poblano pepper, seeded and chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 bunch cilantro, rough chopped
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
1/2 cup mild red salsa
2 Tbs fresh lime juice
4 Tbs olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
6 good shakes of Cajun Sunshine or Tabasco
  1. Mix all ingredients together in a medium sized bowl. Taste for seasonings and heat; adjust as needed. 
  2. Let stand for 20 minutes to defrost the corn and blend the flavors. Mix well before serving.
Note: Use fresh-cut corn kernels straight from the cob during the season, but frozen corn is a surprisingly good substitute. Beware - frozen and processed peppers are too soft to be a good choice. This salad embraces crunch!

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